. Evolution of Early New England Ecclesiastical Architecture in Relation to ReI igious Thought



Prophet of the Soul


Introductory Statement Background of European Influence Early Fort-like Buildings Hip-roof Meetinghouses A. Hingham


Towers Added A. B. Old South Wethersfield


Towers Recessed A. B. Ki 11ingworth Asher Benj amin


Greek Revival A. Old Lyme




from and flourIshed

In duallty~~

The Separatists physically

and Puritans

had broken with the Anglicans, and came to America The two dominant to

as well as philosophically, a New England.

begin a second society, in most societies and religion. organized thing.


-- this one is no exception the colonies never

-- are government lived under an

So although


they felt the influence of God in everyof religion and government blended As the

The two worlds creating


a social harmony manifested,

In the colonies.

need to congregate increasingly

a place to do so became

important. that emerged from this need were one form with and as

The buildings two functions. enltled,

A government

official was as welcome,

to speak there as any minister.

But when questions raged

arose as to who was more entitled, into loud debates. issue of the highest reshaped the Puritan The relation concern, life.

the tacit agreements

of church to state became an separation in the flow ~ ~

and the subsequent

This reshaping of the perIod.

is evident

ecclesiastical from stockaded windows thought


The structural


forts to hipped roofs to towers and Pal ladlan the evolution New England. of the church of England of religious and political

illustrates in colonial

The establishment dissension Separatists. sixteenth quickly,

in 1559 brought and the

from those known as the Puritans In private century, houses

They met secretly

In the late of

and early seventeenth

while the followers


the national church worshiped The Separatists, sovereignty

in churches

and chapels. in the

led by Robert Brown, believed a proposition

of each congregation,

set forth In his

1582 A treatise of reformation Though Brown returned continued, freely.


tarrying for any.1 in 1586, the movement

to the Anglicans

fighting repression

and looking for a way to worship

Freedom came by way of Amsterdam. as leaders, the the

With Francis Johnson and H~~~pworth Separatists settled In a reluctant


Immigrant Separatists

and Dutch Calvinists

had their differences, freely. It was

the former were able to develop their religion perhaps here where their abhorrence hold.

of idolatry and images took

When James I took the throne in 1603, the Separatists In the Puritan Millenary Petition that


all monuments of Idolatry ...dedlcated heeretofore by the Heathens or Antichristlans to their false worship ought ...to be rased and abolished. As with everything roots in the scriptures. these Separatists The connection


did, this Idea had Its Is not difficult to see as for

In this case, as the Separatists pagans, and the Bible "condemneth idolatrle and worship In England, houses. Because

viewed all the Anglicans the antichrlstian


of divils."3 continued to worship in private

the Separatists

they still gathered secretly,

they arrived "2 or the man

3 in a company ...and all being gathered appointed audience to teach stands


in the midst of the Roome and his Crowds are known to have

gather about him."4




to more than one-hundred

fifty at a time.

But they their

never had the internal strength or cooperation own building program which met the standards

to establish

of their worship.

Because of this, the Separatists architecture

had no ideas for religious save for the rejection

when they settled Plymouth,

of the English parish churches, The Puritans,



in England while they

denied the supremlty

called for the abolishment jected to any ornamentation In the Bible. whenever ~ea


of the monarch

In the Church of England and The Puritans ob-

of the episcopacy.

for which they found no justification in their parish churches had some

But they worshiped

they could.

At the very least, the Puritans

what form a meetinghouse

should take, and after the settle-

ment of the Massachusetts New Engiand meetlnghouses.5

Bay In the 1630's, they built the first

In the earl iest settlements, uses of the meetinghouse. place to discuss colonies.

there were three important

The first was to serve as a gathering and societal desires of the reason was to act as a protected the colonists

the administrative

The second, sometimes Thirdly,


place of worship. from Indian attack.

the buildings

And though the palpable

effects of this trac;~fl

third function became somewhat obscured over the years,

Indirect influence can be seen in churches built nearly two hundred years later. With these three functions very simple, purely utilitarian In mind, the colonists structures. They had no



.• .
ornamentation, without no exquisite


craftsmanship. resembled

These buildings stockaded forts.6

any definite

style closely

But as the threat from ~nger became more stYliZed'~w The critlcai meetinghouses period

waned somewhat

and architecture

forms developed. of transition into somewhat of 1630-1642, similar the arrival

was the Great Migration to the Civil War

of John Winthrop years,

in England.

In these twelve in the Massa-r

forty meetinghouses Bay colony, Indicate

were built:



six In Connecticut, this

and one on Long Island. of meeting-

All records houses, wanted

Is the first appearance whether

though to build

it cannot be determined "meetinghouses"

the colonists

as distinct

from "churches."7 to the Massachusetts program.

On March 4, 1628 a charter was granted Bay colony. In it there was no mention "Cambridge Agreement"

of a building of August

But in the secret was a request England

26, 1629, there

that all stockholders


to go to New and

should by all the shares possible of everythlng.8

In the company

assume control separatism clearing

It was here that political developed, then combined,

and rei igious


the way for a theocracy

In the colonies. had met in London

Soon after, to discuss On August A visitor

the leaders of the enterprise

the "buiiding

of fforts ...and convenyent was organized


6, 1629, a congregation from England described

in Salem, Mass. in "a

this group as meeting Within

falre house newly built John Winthrop meet! nghouse"

for the governor.,,10 in his journal Mass.

a year,

had decided

to build a "new

at Dorchester,

From that day -- March


19, 1631-- t~e.~types houses. "11


of buildings

were referred

to as "meetlng-

In Charlestown,

Mass, a "Great House" was built

In 1628,

made of timber with a large chamber for meetings. arrangement was the same as Winthrop's house.12

The Four years "began the

later, the congregation meetinghouse contribution ecclesiastical building,

at Boston and Charlestown

at Boston, for which ...they made a voluntary of 120 pounds."13 architecture This was the beginning Little of

in Boston.

is known of this "decayed and too

except that in 1640 it was declared

small" and torn down.14 Connecticut was moving at much the same pace. A letter to

a Lady in England tells of Sir Richard Sal ton, who "hath also much building at his own house, and fencing, ploughing, and /


plant!ng, ...and first a house for God to dwel I in.ool5 New Hampshire Is not known to have built such a building until 1640

when they voted on May 25 for a "parsonage house with chapple thereunto united." Yankee This combination was not an Innovation of

Ingenuity, however.

It was well known In England.16 were probably timber-framed

Some of the first meetinghouses

with daubing and thatched roofs, but there are few records to prove it. From 1630 - 1640, progress was made Clapboards in the general

areas of construction. In 1640 In Hartford;

and a stalred porch were used

Dedham, Mass. had oak and pine floorboards; a meetinghouse In New Haven had a Other meetinghouses

Salem used glazed windows;

turret which could be entered by a watchman.

had small roofs on posts to shelter bells, and some, such as

Salem In 1636 and SMhamptoo.


Now Yock. hod hooti





As the 1640's arrived, more records were made describing the actual nature of these meetinghouses. It is believed that

most were square or close to It, with an entrance They usually had galleries

on three sides.

on the same sides as the entrances. to increase seating capacity, There was not were on.18 but

Galleries were often necessary

not always part of the original building plan. yet any preference

as to which side the galleries

Two rows of windows,

one to shed light on the ground floor, the The windows were with leaded, dlamond-

other for the galleries. shaped panes.

The building was capped with a steep hlp roof A watchman with a drum or a

which had a turret in the center. bel I stood in the turrets.19 been built separately.

If not, a bell tower may have like Springfield, Mass.,

Some churches,

1644, had both a tower for a bell and a tower for watchman, placed on either end. architectural literature, effect.20 Inside, the puipit was placed on whatever the main door. A "broad alley" connected side was opposite Gables were also first being used, an symbolic In contemporary EnglIsh

design considered but probably

used her only for the medieval

the two, with simple

bench pews on the sides. window, placed between often oak-framed, off. Eventually,

Behind the puipit was the pulpit The building was left

the two rows of windows.

the wal Is were planked, the congregation

and the ceiling

added backs to the benches, No ornamentation or

then changed

them into box pews.21



artistry was found In these, as It conjured remembrances latry and Papists. front of the pulpit. A simple, drop-leaf communion

of ido-

table stood In to the

Later, the altar was placed opposite contrasting

east or south entrance, tradition.

directly with the English

For hour after hour, Puritans would stand to pray. they tilted the benches so that The Puritans might sit, but would

When this became too tiresome, they might lean back slightly.

never kneel to pray.22 This building was the gathering meeting, as well as for any crisis. bringing place for Sabbath and town Community life revolved

around the meetinghouse, one roof. Whether

the whole town together beneath any

it was a prayer service or guest speaker, here.

Important occasion would be recognized But most

Important of all was the Sabbath and the opporTwice, sometimes three times, each

tunity to save the soul. Sabbath the congregation raptured, taking

would come to the church and stand glory of the sermon. And if

in the expounded

this was not enough, Inspiration.

they could return on Thursday

for more



The weekly pi igrlmage to the meetInghouse

seems to

have had an almost divine nature about it, but the house Itself was supposed to have no sacred nature. to their meetinghouse Sti II, the colonists

often referred Lord."23

as the "house of the seem to have given or at least


the Puritans

their house of worship considered meetinghouse

a certain degree of divinity, of God's grace.

It a representation

It was at the

they could pray In congregation

to God, It was at

the meetinghouse

they could save their soul, It was at the



that all good things came. form which all

Among these good things was the pure democratic stemmed from the town meetings. decisions Within

the meetinghouse,

of the town could be made by simple vote. they believed

One man, one But on

vote was the structure Sunday,

to be living under. The seats were

this Image of equality

fell apart.

assigned by name In order of social honor or prominence. Distinctions were made by age, wealth, birth, education, The best man sat in the 'foreseats", and while

public service.24

the Indians and blacks were put up In the galleries might worship in isolation from the others.

so that they

The seats closest to The pulpit of minister, itself though

the pulpit were held by the minister's was raised in near exaltation the minister


of the position hlmself.25

not necessarily resulted

This ironic duality democracy and a

in a government

based on near-pure


system based beneath

largely on social prominence, the same roof.

both of


which were exercised

But for the most the impor-

part, this fit the Puritan mindset. tance of Individual physical closeness proximity responsibility,

Having stressed

it is only just that the

of man to pulpit be relative

to his spiritual c\

to God, as measured

by his social accomplishment. to be seated near the pupit, to the church. Whether

it was this

Just as it was important Important

to live near as possible

was because people needed to feel close to God, or simply because they did not want to travel the poor roads, great debates were fought over the location of the meetinghouses. sometimes made it to the county These debates In

legislator or erupted



It was considered

a remarkable Sometimes,


If a location was

agreed upon without decided colony builte

turmoil .26

meetinghouses as when the house shall be The wisdom of

the locations of Massachusetts

of the residential decided


that "noe dwelling

above half a myle

from the meetinghouse."

th is idea was acknowl edged by an anonymous Towne square the midst, suppose 6 miles every waye.

wr iter: "Suppose placed

the about

The Howses orderly

especial jy the Meetinghouse,

that which we will

to be the center

of the wholl Clrcumference."Z7 in New Haven, CT,

This plan was used for a 1669 meetinghouse James Wadsworth east drew on a map of the Green. of the mid-most the present

The building


in the center about where

of nine squares is today.

in the quadIt is pictured



with a hlp roof with a turret and weathervane windows (5 bays) Imply a gallery. Also,

on top. Two rows of adorn the sides for

Dormer windows

of the hlp roof. meeting The houses

there are three front doors, unusual

of this time period.28 resemble that of in

interior of this church would probably built in Newbury, Mass.,

the second meetinghouse 1700. It was described

completed as

by the Reverend

JS Popkins

filled with long seats. Contiguous to the wall were twenty pews. The spaces for the pews were granted to particular persons who appear to have been principals. Before the pulpit ...was a large deacon's seat ...where sat the chiefs of the fathers. The young people sat in the upper gallery, and the children on a seat in the alley fixed to the outside of the pews. 29 Between built, 1661 and 1700, at least 122 meetinghouses were

52 of which were on new sites, 58 were second on site,



eleven were the third, and one was the fourth. period, no new elements were introduced

In this time

to the basic form of The colonies were

meetinghouses. growing

The major change was In size.

larger, as were the parishes,

and larger places of

worship were needed. Already, the expansion was affecting the control the clergy

had over standards political power.

of conduct.

They were unable

to maintain

In 1662, the Connecticut

and New Haven colonies was ordered to

were united under royal charter, extend

and Massachusetts

the vote to those people outside

the Congregational

church.3D But regardless to dominate of what is written, the ways of the past tend to build Meetinghad an the

the present.

Thus many towns will continue to other towns.

their meetinghouses

in a form similar

houses of the latter part of the 17th century generally entrance on the south side and a pulpit opposite.


fixed altar of the Angl icans made It possible

to use the space in More or

the east end for seating with either pews or gaileries. galleries provided addtional

seating, which were originally built

later part of 46 of the 122 meetinghouses stretch.

in the forty-year to an English Porches with

parish church, were



which created a similarity Incorporated

Into several.31

stairs became more popular Importantly,

In the 1660's, and, perhaps most began to develop is shown In

the tower and spire combinations The Third Church

atop the hip roofs. Burgls'

in Boston

"View of Boston"

to have three gables on the long side, Also, It was described as being

and a huge turret

in the center.

"completely continued pyramidal covered


with sheete



decorationsA ,

to be a part of the structures, motlf.32 stll I standing in Hingham,

especial Iy the~

The oniy structure "Old Ship" Meetinghouse in late July, structure 1680.

from this period

is the

Mass., bull t over three days had agreed

That year, the congregation In length

to a


"55 footes


45 footes

In breadth,

and twenty

or one and twenty footes galleries demolished debate,

to be the height

of the posts, with the building

one one side and at both ends" to replace 35 years earlier.

The location was of considerable the decision. Once the

and the governor

had to make

location was decided, pounds,

the building

was built at a cost of 430 tax on the citizens.33 adorned with

paid for by a progressive

Old Ship was built with a hlp roof, probably three dormers. The longer side ran roughly was found

east to west, while

the main entrance with

In the center of the south side, The pulpit

two other entrances

on the east and west sides. section.

was placed

In the north or north-east windows behind graced

Two rows of

diamond-paned window

all four wal Is, with and additional


the pulplt.34 as the outside. Two rows of seven 9 or 10 to each

The interior was simple benches bench. were placed Nine shorter

on each side of the alley, seats at right angles These benches, the seating. between

to each other were by galleries on

set on the north side. three sides, provided cause of disagreement attached


The communion

table, a major was

the Anglicans Old Ship,

in the Puritans, like other Puritan

to the deacon's


churches, emphasized Last Supper. Inside. No plaster


the communal,

not sacrificial,

aspect of the

was used, but the wal Is were ciapboarded to an Inverted ship's hull and Its

The roof's resemblance

that It was probably nickname. emphasize

built by local shipmen give the church

The compasses this. 35

found on the cupola and above the pulpit



The first mass was held on January 8, 1681. The entire -<--population of Hingham sat within their new church arranged according to age, wealth, and dignity. The women sat on the east, men Below the pulpit side

In the west, and the young In the galleries. were two seats for the elders. sat the minister's honorable wife.

At the head of the women's of the wealthy

This mixture

with the

became a common seating arrangement

for the next

100 years.36 The Puritan England affected Separatist effect. opposition to the beliefs of the Church of likely that the but similar, there One

their architecture,

and it seems


with the Dutch had a milder, In southern


the Dutch presence

Connecticut, there. by

is very little Dutch exception Alexander

influence on the meetinghouses built

is in Fairfield, Hamilton as

in 1698, and described

another town in which is an octagonal I church or meeting built of wood like that of Jamaica upon Long Island, upon the cupola of which is a public clock. Hamilton refers to the Dutch Reformed hexagonal Church of Jamaica,

37 1715,

which was actually

and a late example or hexagonal

of Dutch style. or

These are the only two octagonal meetinghouses

shaped churches

known to have been built

in 17th century New



This wouid

indicate that Engl ish settlers were not about imitating the Dutch architecture, zeQI.



even though they had been built with a similar religious Mostly, the settlers

seemed content with copying or slightly Hip roofs became


what they had seen In other towns.

gabled, then cross-gabled. platforms single and higher

Dormers were added, as were pronounced Though the settlers began with no should look like, by the end into the what the from the


Idea of what a meetinghouse

of the 17th century, major architecture. settlers

Ideas had been worked had accomplished

The meetinghouses

had wanted -- they were dlstingulshabie There was no opulence,

churches of England. They had combined that building,

there was purpose.

two functions

into one public bui Iding, and would become the hallmark of

through competition,

New England society.

I )

with revised thinking, had

At last, this competitionYcombined brought about change. to subside. decorated

The fear of art, music, and poetry began of the first meetinghouses was The

The plainness

with columns or other structural


early 18th century saw a faltering sory faith and was a prelude utilitarian approach

In the strictness

of compulThe sheer lessened. The

to the Great Awakening. architecture

to ecclesiastical

basic requirements room with a pulpit

which had been established

since 1642 -- a

toward the center of one wall -- became someupon. Beyond just more galleries, more

thing to be elaborated

pews, and a larger belfry, but serious architectural



to correspond

with the new enlightened

age. buildings

A sudden change from the squarish

to the rectangular

carried over into the early 18th century.

There was no single

event which pushed out the sides, perhaps just a need for greater size. It was architecturally difficult to support a hlp roof on

a square building with sides longer than 50 feet. In 1699, the first known church with a tower and spire at one end was built In Boston. a Wren-like The Brattle Street church fol lows The Burgis view shows a two gable roof, and a square tower a

design on the outside.

story building with a balustraded on one end.

The tower has a belfry window, another balustrade, At 72 feet long and 52 feet wide, since Boston's it

spice, and a weathervane. was the largest meetinghouse

third meetinghouse,

The first meeting here was held on Christmas minister preached from Chronicles, asking

Eve, 1699.


will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! This text suggests contrary reference the sanctity of the new building, however

to Puritan belief, and coincided with the first to such a building as a "church."39 Along with oblongness

By 1710, radical changes had occured.

came the steep pitched roof, a cupola mounted atop a square tower, and traces of decoration. pitched The desire for size created the the

roof, but It was the desire for reform which brought forecasting the Great Awakening by 20 years.

other effects,



Characteristic middle

of this new type was a main door set In the through a porch. Also, doors The type began with to a barn. the main high

of a long side, often entered

were placed at each of the two narrow ends. little ornament, and without

a tower looked similar

The pulpit moved from an end to the broadside, door and close to the congregation. enough to facilitate mi n ister. the observing


The pulpit was elevated and observance of the

A gallery wrapped

around three sides,

leaving open

the pulpit wal I where a sounding 1minlster's ~CQmmUniOn voice extra verve.

board hung down to give the seat with an attached was

The deacon's

table was placed below him.

Most of the ornament area. This style

found in the pulpit and the surrounding dominated al I parts of New England

In the 18th century.46 Guilford, New

In 1712, four of these types were built. Connecticut, Hamphire, Concord, Mass., and Portsmouth

and Newington,

all witnessed

the birth of a giant in ecclesiastical in Guilford was 68 feet by 45 feet and of windows. The main entrance sat in


The church

was lit by three stories the middle ends.

of the broad south side, and two doors opened at the

In 1726, a tower was added with a belfry and clock, making In New England to have a bell, clock, and

It the first church steeple.

The church survived

until 1830.41 was simi lar. It also had over the main in

Concord's three stories, entrance

Second Meetinghouse but no tower.

A small porch watched

on the broad east or south side. belfry and spire.

A tower was added The Greek Revival

1791, with an octagonal altered

It In 1841, and it burned sixty years later.42


Portsmouth's Guilford, with

Old North Meetinghouse

is also similar


Its three floors, and later Its tower. through a two-storied satisfied

The main

door was entered

porch on the south side. for a greater size.

Two tiers of galleries The Congregational Congregational



In Newington,

NH, is the oldest Also built in


in the United States.

1712, it is smaller windows

than its cousins,

has a single row of long to the roof on the

on either side, and a belfry attached

east end.

The pulpit stands at the west end, where a square was. Before alterations, the main entrance was

tower originally in the middle

of the south side, the pulpit was placed on the

north wall, and two rows of windows were divided by a three-sided gallery, just as the other churches were.43 the finest example of this type of building in Boston, constructed of brick the In ~ Is

But perhaps

the Old South Meetinghouse 1729.

At 94 feet long and 64 feet wide,

It Is probably

largest of Its kind ever built runs roughly east to west. sat the main entrance, of windows rectangular

in New England.

The long axis

In the middle of the broad south side The two rows

which has since been moved.

are rounded on top, a departure design.

from the usual larger than the

The upper row is slightly

lower, possibly

to bring more

light Into and over the galleries. the bel I,

The west end is home to the 90 foot tower, which houses another deviation columns from tradition. An octagonal

cupola with eight stage and the

and arched openings

rises into an octagonal

spire, atop which sits a weathervane. Though the Interior was completely destroyed by the British



the Revolution,

enough remains

to know that the floor was hovered This its creation.

covered with square pews, and two tiers of galleries above, possibly design continued on the east, south and west sldes.44 to be prominent for 70 years after

Because of the problematic a rel igious movement

times of the early 18th century, spirits, Edwards so to launched

to pick up the people's As Jonathan

speak, was desired and probable. his fervorous fire-and-brimstone

attacks on sin, a new religious The Renais-

feeling manifested

In the hearts of New Englanders.

sance and Christopher to give American ways to please

Wren had sent Influence across the Atlantic a classical base. Better and grander And necessity, advances In,


the Almighty invention,

became a necessity.

as ever, mothered

to bring about greater and architecture.

among other things, religion Greatly Wethersfield, affected

by the Awakening

and its results was the In 1761. Wethers-

CT, Congregational

Church, built

field and Old South are the only two remaining from this period. The pitched

brick churches on the

roof, and the main entrance

long south side are reminiscent tower.

of Old South, as Is the great trait of Wethersfield in Newport, RI, an pews and is the

But the most distinguishing of Trinity

spire, a near mirror Episcopal church.


The Inside is filled with rectangular The three-sided gallery

box pews along the sides. rows of forty-paned

Is lit wIth

windows. of the Awakening wore off after the turmoil.

But as the effects Revolution, Atheists New England

fell Into social and religious al ike became disenchanted

and Yale students



tradition. development,

Social unrest and indecIsion blocked meaningful and America was hit by the post-war reorganized economic dive.

As the government

the country, New England was The shipping

once again able to get back on Its cultural horse. and trade Industries renewed Interests yielded benefits, The movements themselves,

the agricultural

and wealth and leisure were enjoyed.

from the hills to the valleys began as people Their confidence in religion

sought more of the good Iife.

surged, yet they also became more tolerant of other reI igions. And as this freedom expanded, meetIng no one church was capable of as wei I as act

the needs of the town's entice population

as meeting house for public affairs. should have his own house, separate

More people felt that God from the house of the and

The secular role in meeting houses declined, religious of the separation rate buildings for different buildings

were built, acting as a harbinger Society wanted sepaInstitutions

of church and state.45 purposes,

for different

and separate

aspects of society. churches. Mostly,

There were, of course, some transitional these churches entrance simply mOdified

the Interior and put the main The old

at the tower end, and the pulpit opposite.

entrance was closed, and the wall on which the pulpit window sat would be changed accordingly. remained. The other important features

An example of this can be found at West Springfield, This meetinghouse was built In 1800, and retains at the base of By standing


the look its predecessors

save for the entrance

the tower, and two more on the sides of the front.


In front of the church, Palladian window crosses

one can see all three doors. the bridge shows,

A small

from the old to the new.46 shape of these new slope to the placed at

As West Springfield churches roof. remained

the elongated

the same, except with a gentler were moved

The entrances

to one end, the pulpit

the opposite. center,

The doors were

In sets of three, one on the Palladian entrance windows were

one on either the doors.

side of the porch. Over the two-storied back

put above

bay entrance This new

stood the steeple, steeple


into the building.

was often more ornate

than those of the older buildings,

but did not always

carry a splre.47 carvIng and at the

The Inside was graced with far more elaborate designs. The gallery flowed around rose. three sides,


fourth where

a high pulpit


every church built after design, sup-

1800 until the Greek Revival ported by Asher Benjamin

used this "Federal"

in his Builder's




and James Gibbs.48 offers a Bulflnch-inspired a great Influence "Design for a Church" In


his book, which became with the exception

throughout Island.

New England, He proposed

of Connecticut entrance

and Rhode porch with

a church with a shallow the narrow windows tower belfry front side.

three doors across

The middle

Is the largest, and three Around the square an open them

sit above,

the center decorated

a Palladian.

is a railing

with urns which surrounds openings

of eIght columns.


separate Above

and stand below another second octagonal

ral ling and more urns.

this, a

stage with pilasters

is decorated

with painted


ovals made to look like windows. double dome.49

Al I this Is topped with a

An example close to this proposal Church in Killingworth,

is the Congregational A Jate Federal, front bay; the

CT, built in 1820.

Killingworth center

has three doors on the two-story

Is the tallest.

Three windows are set over the doors on The square steeple gives way to a A large

the second

level of the bay.

two-stage belfry clock Is centered

topped with a fish design weathervane. in the tower.

Inside, the altar Is surpri-

singly simple, with a few columns and elevated pulpit. Atypical Boston. of the Federal period is the Park Street Church

Built of brick In 1809, It serves as a model of the of a city church. Boston could afford to build a architect. Is


church such as this, and Peter Banner was a competent The space between

the tower and the face of the building across the front.

arched forward, making a semisphere Palladian different

A large

and four columns on each side give Park Street a look than most other churches in New England. to develop its

But these city churches after the War of 1812. activity,

had little opportunity

As the shipping

trade decreased

people came to work in the factories,

and the control

of the church again relaxed, churches with relevance lost. The classical

the time and energy to create new

to the mores of New England society was

leanings of the Greek Revival came up from

the South. Though

By 1830, the era of Federal building had passed. there were some architectural problems In smoothly

placIng a steeple atop a temple, some churches were reasonable


accomplishments. back, two-staged doors.5D The church

The basic steeple,

look was a low pitch roof, a pushed and heavy square

Doric columns,

in Old Lyme, CT, built

in 1817, is considered In the 19th Ionic

by many to be the finest example of Greek Revival Century and fits the description well.

Four slender

columns stand on the porch, Above, a two-stage Jared belfry.

framing the three heavy doors. a six-sided pll-

square steeple supports Into the air.

A spire shoots

But regardless

of the strength

of these steepled


they did not speak of the New England religion symbolized the falling apart of the small-town

any longer. way 'which gave us These thIngs

the Old Ship and "One If by land, Two If by sea." seem Inapplicable continent. personality. Gothic period, meaning to a Parthenon-like fortress

stuck on the wrong of

The Greek revivals were devoid of feeling, And so through New England

the Greek period and the subsequent architecture lost Its loss.


and fell into a trap of unorlginality of understanding people

and creative

If the pattern

through their architecture

Is to be fol lowed here as wei I, one could make the case that the same could be said of New Englanders.



ENDNOTES 1. Marian Card Donnelly, The New England Meetinghouses of the Seventeenth Century (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1968), p. 39. 2. Donnelly, p. 40. 3. Donnelly, p. 40. 4. Donnelly, p. 41. 5. Donnelly, p. 42. 6. Edmund W. Sinnot, Meetinghouse and Church In Early New England (New York: McGraw-Hili, 1963), p. 15. 7. Donnelly, p. 7. 8. Donnelly, p. 9. 9. Donnelly, p. 9. 10. Donnelly, p. 11. 11. Donnelly, p. 9. 12. Donnelly, p. 12. 13. Donnelly, p. 13. 14. Donnelly, p. 13. 15. Donnelly, p. 13. 16. Donnelly, p. 13. 17. Donnelly, p. 15-16. 18. Donnelly, p. 14. 19. Sinnott, p. 16. 20. Donnelly, p. 50. 21. Sinnott, p. 9. 22. Sinnott, p. 6. 23. Sinnott, p. 6. 24. Sinnott, p. 7. 25. Sinnott, p. 8. 26. Sinnott, p. 8-9. 27. Donnelly, p. 25. 28. Sinnott, p. 30. 29. Sinnott, p. 31. 30. Donnelly, p. 64. 31. Donnelly, p. 65. 32. Donnelly, p. 66. 33. Donnelly, p. 72. 34. Sinnott, p. 32. 35. Sinnott, p. 32. 36. Sinnott, p. 36. 37. Donnelly, p. 79. 38. Donnelly, p. 79. 39. Donnelly, p. 79. 40. Sinnott, p. 20. 41. SInnott, p. 39. 42. Sinnott, p. 40. 43. Sinnott, p. 41. 44. Sinnott, p. 44. 45. Sinnott, p. 73. 46. Sinnott, p. 73. 47. Sinnott, p. 74. 48. Sinnott, ij. 25. 50. Sinnott, p. 137. 49. Slooott. ~~



BIBLIOGRAPHY Donnely, Marian Card. The New England Meetinghouses of the Seventeenth Century. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1968. Mallary, Peter T. New England Churches and Meetinghouses. New York: Vendome Press, 1985. Rose, Harold Wickliffe. The Colonial Houses of Worship In America. New York: Hastings House, 1963. Sinnott, Edmund W. Meetinghouse and Church In Early New England New York: McGraw-Hi I1, 1963.