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early churches of New Jersey
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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 backsomehow
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.