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early churches of New Jersey
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Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church
Newark, Essex County
Local residents know this as Queen of Angels Catholic Church, but when
it was built by German Catholics in 1861, it was named Saint Peter's.
The congregation was organized by 1855. Otto Gsanther, a name unknown
in standard architectural sources, was the architect. The 1881 History
of Essex County provides the following description:
The present church edifice was built in 1861, and its proportions are
very symmetrical, and give it a fine exterior, which might have been
improved by making the front of stone instead of brick. The style is
Gothic; the tower square, with pinnacles. The same symmetry is displayed
in the interior as upon the outside; clustered columns with carved capitals
support the roof of the nave, while the decorations and figures of the
sanctuary and chapels are gotten up with that artistic taste for which
the Germans are celebrated. The altar is forty-six feet high, and above
the tablet: are figures representing the Law and the Gospel, Moses and
Elias, and the four Evangelists. Above these is a large crucifix, with
St. Mary and St. John at the foot of the Cross. In arches on each side
of this are figures of saints, while above is a figure of the Godhead,
and in the fixed arch a representation of the Resurrection.