Saint Thomas Church, completed in 1913, was designed by Ralph Adams Cram and Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. In 1915 Goodhue predicted that his design for the Great Reredos behind the High Altar would be “splendiferous.” Nearly all of its 76 free-standing figures were designed and personally modeled by the architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie between 1917 and 1919. Lawrie later designed the Atlas statue across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Great Reredos is the largest stone reredos in the world and is one of five, not four, reredoses in the church. Some of the secrets and little known facts about the Great Reredos will be revealed by Lee Whitley, tour guide coordinator of Saint Thomas Church, in his lecture.