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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   Photographic Inventory

St. James Roman Catholic Church
Red Bank, Monmouth County

St. James is an impressive neoclassical church in the center of Red Bank, completed in 1894. It stands next to the Catholic high school (St. James Hall) and together they occupy most of a city block. But for the tower, a later addition in 1911, the church exhibits the perfect symmetry that neoclassical architects regarded so highly. There are only a few neoclassical/Renaissance Revival churches in the state, all Catholic. The architect was Joseph Scannell, who practiced in Red Bank. Their first church was built in the 1860s at Pearl and Wall Streets.
     Until 1843 Catholics in the state could not legally practice their religion openly; when they were allowed to erect a church it was usually on the outskirts of town, not in a prominent location. By 1860, however, Catholics had become the largest denomination in the state. In Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Trenton and other cities the church moved quickly to remind people of its new role by purchasing highly-visible property near the center of town. And then they proceeded to build large, well-designed Gothic, Baroque or Neoclassical buildings, as here.




Copyright (c) 2009 Frank L. Greenagel