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

Second Presbyterian Church
Hackettstown, Warren County

 

If you can ignore the Greek portico, which was added in 1838, you will see a traditional meetinghouse church, smaller, but similar to the Presbyterian church in Springfield. It was built in 1819, and replaced an earlier church. It is one of the more authentic early meetinghouses in the state. Having noted that, it would be an error to ignore the portico, for it, too, has an interesting history.

     The fluted columns sit directly on the step, without the pedestal that is common in Jersey adaptations of Greek Revival, but true to the original Doric order. The entablature (the portion about the columns and below the pediment, is also about as "authentic" as one can find. There are mutules with guttae (purely decorative elements copied from original Greek buildings) which can be found only on the Reformed church in Harlingen; most of the sixty-plus Greek Revival buildings in the state omit them. The design of this portico was surely taken directly from Asher Benjamin's builder's guide. See the February 2004 feature article on builder's guides for a closer look at the entablature.
     
The congregation was organized in 1763.

 

 

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Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel