authoritative source on
early churches of New Jersey
We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than half
the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it each month.
We welcome and solicit all contributions and suggestions from our visitors.
to use this site
Respond to readers' queries
Consult the database
Annotate the database
Upload a photo
Suggest a church for inclusion
List of churches, by county
Links to related sites
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church
Boonton, Morris County
The design of the Mt. Carmel church is a
common one, based on that of St. James the Less in Philadelphia, erected fourteen
years earlier. That design made a profound impression on Richard Upjohn, a leading
Gothic Revival architect who designed churches mainly for Episcopal congregations,
but whose designs were widely influential among other denominations. The basic
characteristics of the plan are a symmetrical gable-front building with a steeply-pitched
roof line, lancet windows, a bellcote, and substantial buttresses projecting
from the front of the church. There is only the barest suggestion of a tower,
and where the liturgy dictated aisles, they could be accommodated within the
slope of the roofline. The main entrance is occasionally placed on the long side,
leaving the façade available for a large window. It is a form that
we can see in Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches as well as Roman
Catholic, and one adaptable to stone, brick and wooden construction. This design
was substantially copied , albeit on a slightly larger scale, in St.
Joseph’s church in Bound Brook (Somerset), erected twenty years later.
Land for the church was given by the New Jersey
Iron Company, which, technically, ought to mean this was a "miner's church,"
but I have never seen it refered to as such. This is the congregation's
building, which was
that one was
1847-48, and this 12 years later, in 1860.
The architect was Jeremiah O’Rourke, who designed hundreds of other Catholic
churches in the country, but in this case, borrowed a bit from Upjohn.