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First Congregational United Church of Christ

First Congregational United Church of Christ
323 East Third Street

“Site Seeing” An Architectural Sampler, Fenton Historical Society, 1991
(The Fenton Historical Society sponsored a tour of several prominent buildings in Jamestown on August 16, 1991.)

The Gothic Revival architecture of the First Congregational United Church of Christ is an overall reflection of the works of the great European cathedral builders of the late Middle Ages. Elements of this style were reintroduced into English design in the early 1800s and transplanted in America on a less grand scale. Aaron Hall, architect of many Jamestown buildings in the last century, undoubtedly made use of the architectural manuals then available when he designed the church in 1869. The offset steeple, buttresses, pointed arches and the three bay facade seen here are all described in those instructional handbooks.

This design was extremely popular for churches built during the mid-1800s. St. Luke’s Episcopal congregation worshipped in two similar structures throughout the 19th Century before their present church was built in 1890. The Congregational Church appears to be the only surviving public building of this architecture in Jamestown.

A large window in the south end of the Sanctuary is a special feature of the interior. This was a bequest from Mary Prendergast (Mrs. Alexander), in memory of her husband. Alexander Prendergast’s father, James, founder of the city, was an early member of this congregation which was founded in 1816.

Another gift, the Hall Memorial organ, was given to the church in 1921 in memory of Elliot C. Hall who served as Clerk of the Church for many years. Charlotte Dahlbeck, church organist, and other community musicians will be performing at the organ during the afternoon of the tour.

Refreshments will also be available at this site.

The Fenton Historical Society is especially proud to include this structure on its 1991 Site Seeing. It serves as an admiring acknowledgement of the historical significance of the 175th Anniversary of the organization of the congregation.

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