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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Plainfield Unitarian Church
Plainfield, Union County

In 1891 Oscar Teale designed the Unitarian church in Plainfield for a small, but obviously upscale congregation. To the best of my knowledge, this is the oldest Unitarian church in the state, although there is an older Universalist church in Ocean county. Rusticated stone, multiple windows, turrets, and towers placed asymmetrically, are among the several interesting elements of the building. Mostly notable, in my view, is the attention to detail, which is lavished on the church. But other than the unusually fine design of such minor elements as window mullions, there is nothing here in common with any of his previous buildings, which include the exceptional Seventh Day Baptist church in Plainfield, the First German Reformed, also in Plainfield, the Akron plan addition to the Second Presbyterian church in Elizabeth, and Trinity Methodist church in Hackettstown. Only a few architects practicing in Jersey moved easily from one style to another—most worked largely in the Gothic, or the Romanesque idiom; it appears we ought to credit architect Teal with a similar adaptability.




Copyright (c) 2005 Frank L. Greenagel