First Presbyterian Church
Princeton, Mercer County
founded 1753, built 1839
The congregation was organized in 1753 and this building was erected
in 1839. An early Greek Revival building, often attributed to Charles Steadman, but very likely the design of Philadelphia architect Thomas Ustick Walter.
This is one of the earliest full-blown Greek Revival churches in the state, built the same year as the Presbyterian church in Trenton and a couple years after the full portico'd Miller Chapel on the grounds of the Princeton Theological Seminary. In spite of the fact that Philadelphia was the site of some of the earliest Greek Revival buildings in the country, and the Greek Revival influence permeated New England by the 1820s, the style was slow to be adopted here. Many churches, particularly in the central part of the state, adopted this style, which was in use as late as the mid-1850s. Of especial interest is the recessed entry with two free-standing columns—the architectural term is in antis for this type of façade.
See Constance Greiff, Mary Gibbons and Elizabeth Menzies, Princeton Architecture: A Pictorial History of Town and Campus. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.