authoritative source on
early churches of New Jersey
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Memorial Presbyterian Church
Dover, Morris County
This fine Romanesque Revival church in
Dover was built in 1899 as a memorial to the donor’s wife, but as most
such memorials, it was intended to proclaim the wealth and social prominence
of the donor, a wealthy banker, I think. The style is an example of what is called "Richardsonian
Henry Hobson Richardson, an influential mid-nineteenth century architect, known
for his upscale residences and public buildings.
It is difficult not to speculate that the congregation,
aware of the large Romanesque edifice Presbyterians in Morristown had just completed,
saw in this building
a response that asserted their own affluence and taste. Note the porte cochère off
the tower, a reminder to passersby that members of this church were accustomed
to arriving in a carriage. The architect was Paul Botticher of Newark.
The building succeeds two previous Presbyterian
churches, both of which were sited less than 100 yards from this building.