The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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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.

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Saint Columba Roman Catholic Church
Newark, Essex County

Even as late as the end of the nineteenth century there was a general prejudice against Catholics, and that has a bearing on the fate of this church, which was reputedly intended to be the cathedral church for Catholics in this area. But the neighborhood was then an upscale one, and the mainline Protestants objected to having a Catholic Bishop in their midst. The upshot was that the plans were scaled back—somehow the building does not seem fully realized, as if it were truncated during construction. And, of course, the Catholic Church proceeded to acquire the most prominent site in the city and build their cathedral there.
      Saint Columba, organized in 1871 and built in the 1898, is a curious design, with many Italian Renaissance features, such as the campanile, and "tendencies to the Baroque" as one observer put it. The architect was Charles Edwards, who also designed St. Aloyius church in the city.




Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel