On October 31, 2016, the St. Bartholomew's Church and Community House complex was designated a National Historic Landmark, for its significance as an important example of early 20th-century ecclesiastical architecture designed by Bertram Goodhue.
The second location, built from 1872 to 1876 at the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and East 44th Street, was designed by James Renwick, the architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in the Lombardic style. The building was embellished in 1902–1903 with a triple French Romanesque Revival portal by Stanford White, who took as his inspiration the church of Saint-Gilles, Gard, between Arles and Nîmes, which White had admired in 1878; the sculptures in the tympana are Renaissance-inspired. The portal was paid for by the family of Cornelius Vanderbilt II as a memorial; Vanderbilt's father, William H. Vanderbilt, had sold the site to the church. The magnificent bronze doors, with bas-reliefs in panels depicting episodes from the Old and New Testaments, were carried out by some of New York's established sculptors: Andrew O'Connor, working freely under the general direction of Daniel Chester French, executed the main door; the south door was executed by Herbert Adams, the north door by Philip Martiny.
The current church was erected in 1916–17. The original freely handled and simplified Byzantine Revival design by Bertram Goodhue was called "a jewel in a monumental setting" by Christine Smith in 1988. Goodhue modified his design in response to the requirement that the old church portal, beloved by the parishioners, be preserved, with its bronze doors, from the Madison Avenue building and re-erected on the new site.
The foundation stone of Goodhue's original design, a vast, unified barrel-vaulted space, without side aisles or chapels and with severely reduced transepts, was laid 1 May 1917 and the construction was sufficiently far along for the church to be consecrated in 1918; its design was altered during construction, after Goodhue's sudden, unexpected death in 1924, by his office associates, in partnership as Mayers, Murray and Philips; they were engaged in erecting the community house, continuing with the same materials, subtly variegated salmon and cream-colored bricks and creamy Indiana limestone; they designed the terrace that still provides the equivalent of a small square, surrounded by the cliff-like facades of Midtown commercial structures (illustration, upper right); in summer, supplied with umbrellas and tables, it becomes the outside dining area for the restaurant, Inside Park. They also inserted the "much discussed" dome, tile-patterned on the exterior and with a polychrome Hispano-Moresque interior dome, which substituted for the spire that had been planned but never built. Completed in 1930, the church contains stained-glass windows and mosaics by Hildreth Meiere, and a marble baptismal font by the Danish follower of Canova, Bertel Thorvaldsen. St. Bartholomew's, completed by 1930 at a cost of $5,400,000, is one of the city's landmarks. For long one of New York's wealthiest parishes, St. Bart's is known for a wide range of programs. It draws parishioners from all areas of New York City and surroundings. It is the final resting place for actresses Lillian Gish (1893–1993), Dorothy Gish (1898–1968), and their mother Mary Gish (1876–1948).