Plymouth Church (Brooklyn)
|Location||57 Orange Street
Brooklyn, New York
|Architect||Joseph C. Wells
|NRHP Reference #||66000525|
|Added to NRHP||July 4, 1961|
|Designated NHL||October 15, 1966|
Plymouth Church is an historic church located at 57 Orange Street between Henry and Hicks Streets in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. The Church House has the address 75 Hicks Street.
Plymouth Church was built in 1849–50 and was designed by Joseph C. Wells – who was later one of the founders of the American Institute of Architects. The barn-like church building with its pews arranged in an arc before the pulpit became a standard design and layout for other evangelical Protestant churches throughout the United States.
In 1866, the church's original pipe organ was replaced with another by E. and G. G. Hook that was at the time the largest in the United States. In 1907–09, stained-glass windows by Frederick Stymetz Lamb were installed in the church, and at about the same time, an entrance porch was added. The Classic revival parish house and arcade which adjoin the building were built in 1913-14, and were designed by Woodruff Leeming.
When it was founded in 1847 by 21 transplanted New Englanders, the church was the third Congregationalist church to be organized in Brooklyn – then a separate city from New York. Its first pastor was Henry Ward Beecher.
Beecher, who became a leading figure in the abolitionist movement, remained at the church until his death in 1887. Reflecting Beecher's views, the church was a station on the Underground Railroad. A statue of Beecher by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, noted for his work on Mount Rushmore, now stands in the church garden.
In 1934, Plymouth Church merged with the Congregational Church of the Pilgrims, the first Congregational Church in Brooklyn, which left its Richard Upjohn-designed church at Henry and Remsen Streets – now Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church (a New York City Landmark) – and the resulting combined congregation was named Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims. The stained-glass windows from the Church of the Pilgrims, including windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios, were moved to Plymouth Church's nearby Hillis Hall. The church reverted to its original name in September, 2011.
The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1961. It is located within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965, and it was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Today the church is a member of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, and its pastor is Dr. David C. Fisher.
- New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Postal, Matthew A. (ed. and text); Dolkart, Andrew S. (text). (2009) Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.) New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p.232
- White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000). AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5., p.668
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-18.
- "Art and Architecture" on the Plymouth Church website
- "Our History" on the Plymouth Church website
- Hand, Susanne and Grieff, Constance (December 20, 1984). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-27. and PDF (5.53 MB)
- Applegate, Debby. The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (Doubleday, June 2006).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Plymouth Church (Brooklyn, New York).|
- Official website
- Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims site on "Aboard the Underground Railroad", National Park Service tour list
- Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), at the Lincoln Institute's Mr. Lincoln and New York