St. Albanís became a parish in 1951, when St. Anneís in Great Kills merged with Holy Comforter, Eltingville. Hence, its roots go back as far as 1865, when a group of farmers joined together to form Holy Comforter, and erected a small wooden stick gothic structure at the present site of the South Shore YMCA on Richmond Avenue. In 1873, this building was divided, moved to the present location, and enlarged with the transepts and tower.
St. Albanís was designed by architect Richard Mitchell Upjohn (1828-1903), son of the noted church architect and Gothic Revivalist Richard Upjohn (1802-1878). Although born in Shaftesbury, England, R.M. Upjohn lived most of his life in Brooklyn. He entered his father's architectural firm in 1846. R.M. Upjohn is known primarily for his Victorian Gothic Style, which uses eccentric angular details. A major portion of the Upjohnís practice consisted of the design of small Gothic Revival style churches for Episcopal parishes of modest means located in rural areas. Most were made of wood and the exterior of many, like St. Albanís, have the board-and-battan siding. St. Albanís is a New York State Landmark, a New York City Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior of the church was renovated in the 1980's to meet new liturgical practices which use a freestanding altar. At that time the exterior was painted in authentic Victorian colors, which did away with the all white palette.
The Story of Alban