Cathedral of Sweat: a Look at the New David Barton Gym Inside the Limelight

David Barton LimelightDailyresolutionsfinalDaily Resolutions Tip of the Day: Give your daily workout a change of scenery by trying out a new gym for a day, taking a boutique fitness class you've never tried, or switching up your running route.

It's a church. It's a club. It's a mall. It's...David Barton Gym!

That's right, David Barton Gym has officially opened inside the iconic Limelight in New York City, an Episcopal church built in the 1800s that was transformed into one of the city's most infamous clubs, known for hard partying and drug culture in the '90s (the 1990s, that is).

After its club chapter officially ended in 2007, the building was remade into a shopping center, and while there are still shops operating in the center section, it's now reborn again, with weight benches set up where chapel pews—and then a bar—once stood. And the gym is offering a special suite of group fitness classes that invoke the architecture too, like Divine Abs, Muscle Mass, Salvation, and Core Communion.

We took a tour to give you a sneak peek into what may be the city's coolest gym design to date. —Lisa Elaine Held

(All Photos: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)


David Barton LimelightTo reach the gym, you have to ascend a stairwell inside the church's bell tower, where this window decal assures you that you're in the right place (lest you start to wonder).


David Barton LimelightA  view from inside the bell tower.


David Barton LimelightThe center of the space, where a modern chandelier, which was brought in from Spain, hangs from the arched ceiling, over cardio equipment and weight machines. The gym is stocking Life Fitness' Insignia Series equipment, which sync to iPhone apps for workout tracking.


David Barton LimelightThe "Iron Chapel," which once housed nuns, is now filled with dumbbells.


David Barton LimelightSaints watch over those sweating out their cron-nut-eating sins from stained-glass windows on either side of the cardio loft.  There's also a DJ table for busy workout nights, which David Barton is known for, and pays homage to the space's other life.


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