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Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto, A Place that Matters

lady of mount carmel grotto new york cityTucked away on Amity Street, a small dead-end street in Rosebank, Staten Island, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto has been receiving pilgrims and others who appreciate its beauty and serenity since 1938. The Grotto consists of a main shrine, smaller structures, and a central fountain, all situated in a small yard that a pilgrim once likened to a “jeweled city.” The Grotto’s main shrine is a dazzling 20’ high structure made from a composite of materials – an up-close look will reveal everything from smooth round stones and glass marbles to inlaid bicycle reflectors. Open twenty-four hours a day, the Grotto hosts visitors who come seeking to pray, to worship, or just to have a moment of peace from the fast pace of city life. When 270 residents of Staten Island died in the attacks of September 11, 2001, hundreds sought solace at the Grotto, leaving written prayers and photos of family members. Though it has grown over the years, the Grotto was initially constructed by the Rosebank Society of our Lady of Mount Carmel in the 1930s, a group of Italian-American men who had come together to carry on important religious traditions in their new community and to support each other through the challenge of transitioning to the United States. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto is included in City Lore’s just released book, Hidden New York: A Guide to Places that Matter. The book offers a rich description of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto, calling its artistry “evidence of Italian Americans’ pervasive and deeply felt regard for the well-crafted object.” To read more about Our Lady of Carmel Grotto in the Census of Places that Matter, click here. Or click here to add your thoughts to the Census about why Our Lady of Carmel Grotto is a Place that Matters. Browse the rest of the Census — or add your own Place That Matters — here.