Methodist Episcopal Church of Florence
Florence, Burlington County
Broad & Second Streets
founded c.1839, built 1881-82
This large brick building is a nice late-century variation on the Methodist tradition of following the basic plan and massing of their "mother" church—old St. George's Church in Philadelphia. There are more than a dozen examples in the state, all a little different but generally very recognizable. Some are brick, some wood. All are characterized by a shall-pitched roof, and accentuated pediment, pilasters at the corners, and tall rectangular windows. There is often a wide cornice, frequently with a row of dentils, but occasionally with spaced brackets. Most have a single entrance with a neo-classical door surround, but some have three. The buildings are invariably symmetrical.
Architectural elements that reveal its late-century design include the broken return on the pediment, the round arch windows with drip molds, a tripartite central window, and the large oculus with a 6 petal mullions high in the gable end. Notice that the arches on the second story are different from those on the ground floor. The brickwork on the front of the building is tighter and more even than on the sides, which was typical of the period.
The congregation got its start in a series of revivals in 1839 which resulted in organization of this church. The converts met in a school-house near Florence until 1854, when they purchased a lot and erected a small frame church, which was used until 1881. That building was sold and converted into a dwelling, which may still exist. This large (40' x 60') brick church was erected in 1881-82 at a cost of $6,000. There are two subsequent large extensions to the rear.