The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is blessed to welcome new members and visitors on a regular basis. But some new people, and in fact, even some seasoned members of the community, might not know that our church is wheelchair accessible. So we would like to bring everyone’s attention how to enter the building if the stairs are a challenge.

The elevator that takes people to the upper or lower church is located in the hallway on the left side of the church when you are facing the altar.  To arrive at this elevator from the street with no stairs, one needs to enter from our 32nd street entrance (where the kneeling statue of St. Francis is located). There is also an accessible electrically opened door at that entrance for people who need help with the door

From the 32nd street entrance you follow the hallway past the stairs along the right.  The door to the elevator is facing the exit door at the end of that hallway.  This elevator will bring you up the the main church or down to the lower church.  So both Sunday Mass and weekday Masses in the lower church and the confessionals are all accessible.

The elevator can also be reached from 31st street by following the alley between the church and the school to the door to the hallway.  This is convenient for people who need the elevator but can manage the 4-5 stairs that lead up from the sidewalk from this direction.

From the upper church the restrooms and the Clare room are all accessible.

The church closes daily at 6 PM.  If you are attending a class or ministry meeting after 6 PM simply notify the group leader or instructor that you need elevator access and arrangements will be made.  If you are attending the daily Mass in the lower church and need the elevator and the upper church to access the restroom after the upper church is closed, simply notify a security guard, or the presider, and we will assist you.

The San Damiano Hall is at street level and is accessible for all events.

Older buildings in New York that were built well before these considerations were common can present challenges.  For example, our old school building has no elevator and in not accessible to people in wheelchairs and it has many stairs which can make it challenging for anyone who has difficulty with stairs.  We try out best to first utilize spaces that are accessible to all.

We hope this information is helpful to people who need the elevator and for all members to be able to direct visitors and members who may not be aware of the elevator.