Bethel Presbyterian Mission Chapel
Plainfield, Union County
Fifth & Roosevelt
founded 1884, built 1887
Bethel Presbyterian chapel was organized as a mission chapel of the First Presbyterian Church in 1884, and this building erected five years later. Except for the Palladian window I would have passed it by as a product of the twentieth century, but that window attracted my attention. A close examination revealed the wooden frame of the window was quite old, which suggested at least portions of the church itself dated to the nineteenth century. A subsequent visit confirmed the late nineteenth century construction. I believe the architect was George Kramer.
The entablature surrounding the entrance is Neoclassical/Georgian, as well, although the door itself appears to be a later replacement. The clerestory windows are another element that suggests the age of the building. At this time, contractors and builders drew from a variety of manufactured moldings, windows and doors—any decorative item that might enhance the ceremonial nature of the structure could have been tacked on.