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

Basilica Church of the Sacred Heart
Trenton, Mercer County

Sacred Heart was founded in 1814 (other sources say 1799, which may be correct but since there was so little legal protection for Catholic churches in the state at the time, it is uncertain whether the church had any official/legal standing). This large building, its third, was built in 1899. The architect was Patrick Keely of Brooklyn, who designed at least 16 other Catholic churches in the state. Most of Keely's extensive work (more than 600 churches) was in the English Gothic idiom, with an occasional nod to the Romanesque, but this basilica is clearly from a different architectural tradition. I have not toured the building or examined it closely, but it suggests a Renaissance tradition with its symmetry and balance—elements that Gothic and Romanesque generally avoided.

The church is located on a prominent rise on South Market, away from the center of town, and for that reason very visible to anyone approaching from the south. A most impressive building, which recently underwent a renovation to the façade.




Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel