Trinity Church Wall Street awards Saint Mark’s Cathedral $150,000 in second grant to advance affordable housing

Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
Posted May 8, 2024

A recent $150,000 grant from Trinity Church Wall Street advances Saint Mark’s plans to develop multigenerational affordable housing community on the cathedral campus.

Trinity Church Wall Street has awarded a $150,000 grant to Saint Mark’s Cathedral to advance plans for redeveloping the former St. Nicholas School site on the cathedral’s north Capitol Hill campus for affordable housing. The additional grant spans a nine-month period through December 2024 and enables Saint Mark’s to refine development concepts and identify a development partner. 

“Saint Mark’s would not be in the position it is to take a next step in the development process for affordable housing without partners like Trinity Church Wall Street who generously share in our mission to ensure safe and affordable housing for our neighbors,” said The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, cathedral dean and rector. “We are grateful for Trinity’s trust to steward this grant to advance the plans for a multigenerational affordable housing community on the cathedral campus,” said Thomason.  

This is the second grant that Saint Mark’s has received from Trinity Church Wall Street as part of the cathedral’s exploration of the feasibility of affordable housing on campus. In October 2023, Trinity awarded Saint Mark’s a $100,000 grant to support the completion of key assessments of the St. Nicholas site, such as studies of financial feasibility, geotechnical conditions, environmental impacts, and potential for historic building rehabilitation. 

These assessments will inform Saint Mark’s selection of a development partner with a shared missional approach and vision for meeting community need. The path to finding such a partner is guided by criteria developed by the Cathedral’s Affordable Housing Committee and Vestry.   

“As a fellow Episcopal parish committed to creating affordable housing, Trinity Church Wall Street acknowledges the importance of faithful stewardship of community resources,” said Bea de la Torre, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Trinity Church Wall Street. “With this second grant to Saint Mark’s, we honor the parish’s continued commitment to thoughtful collaboration and eagerly anticipate the church’s identification of a mission-aligned development partner.” 

Through its feasibility work, Saint Mark’s is exploring two options: either entirely new construction or—the preferred option—converting and expanding the historic 1926 part of the St. Nicholas School together with a new addition to generate 119 housing units, ranging from studio to three-bedrooms. Continued analysis of the possibility of rehabilitation the historic building and site, which received landmark designation from the City of Seattle in 1981, has been integral to this work. “This is an exciting opportunity to thread stories of past, present and future to serve and create more affordable housing in a neighborhood of Seattle that offers so much,” said Thomason.   

Saint Mark’s Properties LLC purchased the St. Nicholas site in 2003. The cathedral uses a portion of the space for its own programming, but the primary occupancy has been for nonprofit tenants. In 2022, the Saint Mark’s governing board, the Vestry, identified affordable housing as a missional initiative worthy of consideration for Saint Mark’s to explore further. Learn more at 

About Saint Mark’s Cathedral
Saint Mark’s serves as the spiritual home for the largest parish congregation in the Diocese of Olympia (The Episcopal Church in Western Washington) with five worship services on Sundays, a vibrant community life with more than 80 ministry groups, and a campus used for the broader community by more than 100 nonprofits. Since 1889, Saint Mark’s has responded to the needs of a growing and changing Seattle population compelled by the love of Christ and engaged in the work of justice. The current building was never finished after initial construction plans stalled due to foreclosure after The Stock Market crash and depression. While subsequent capital projects have focused on improvements, the “incomplete” aesthetic of the cathedral has become a signature element of its character and the community that gathers in countless ways as a house of prayer for all people.  

About Trinity Church Wall Street:
Trinity Church Wall Street is a vibrant and growing Episcopal parish of more than 1,600 members. Over the past 325 years, Trinity has been guided by its mission to share God’s love for all people. Trinity’s programs seek to offer shared encounters with the holy, to cultivate compassion, to deepen knowledge and spiritual practices, to work for justice rooted in essential human dignity, to provide places of solace and healing, and to inspire a desire in all people to be conscientious contributors to the life of New York City and the world. More than 20 worship services are offered every week online and at historic Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission. 

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, 
Dean and Rector