La Hermosa Christian Church is a longtime anchor of the Harlem community, primarily serving Hispanic and other minority members of the neighborhood.

Our church has helped foster our neighborhood’s rich musical and artistic legacy, hosting beloved musicians like Tito Puente and the Palmieri brothers, and giving our corner the honor of being one of the birthplaces of Latin and Afro-Cuban Jazz. La Hermosa has always been a deeply important center of Hispanic life in the United States, and a sanctuary in which our community gathers. But the reality is our fortunes have changed, like so many churches around the country.

But the reality is our fortunes have changed, like so many churches around the country.

We simply don’t have the funding to maintain our 23,000 square foot building. The deterioration of our space is having a real effect on our community: old heating and cooling systems mean that services in the winter and summer can be unbearably cold or dangerously hot, a risk for older congregants. With steep steps up to the main worship space, the church is not easily accessible to many. We’ve moved most services into a smaller space downstairs.

Our Plan to Revitalize La Hermosa

We’re excited about our ambitious new plan to revitalize La Hermosa, which will address our challenges and do so much more.

We’ll be able to create a vibrant cultural and religious anchor for Harlem; we’ll establish an endowment that will help us raise the next generation of musicians; and we will set our community and our congregation up for long-term success.

A contextual, mixed-income residential building designed by architecture firm FXCollaborative will be developed next door to La Hermosa, and we’ll be able to use the proceeds to benefit the residents of Harlem.

The Space

Our plan will deliver an inspiring, accessible house of worship for our congregation. The lobby will host art exhibits and performances; top floors will include practice rooms and performance spaces.

The space will be active throughout the day—from Sunday services and bible study to graduations, recitals, child-care, weddings, and even sporting events, everyone will be welcome into our neighborhood’s new, dynamic cultural and social hub.

We’ll listen closely to our community and provide services that it needs: that might mean high-tech classrooms for local nonprofits to work in; better worship and meeting space for the churches that already rely on La Hermosa; daycare or health care services.

Additional Community Benefits

The project will help create affordable housing units for our community, something we can all be proud of.

We’ll be able to honor our history as one of the birthplaces of Latin Jazz by making music and art a cornerstone of our program. We’ll create a multi-million dollar endowment for the arts in Harlem — partnering with local arts and cultural groups to provide music education here in Harlem.

We believe this plan will help us not only create an inspiring space—but will build an anchor for music, for worship, and for helping our community succeed and grow.