United Methodist Church of the Highlands

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United Methodist Church of the Highlands
A triangular stone building with a peaked-roofed tower attached to its front slightly to the left, illuminated by the sun from that direction. Its wooden doors have a Christmas wreath on them
East (front) elevation and south profile, 2008
Basic information
Location Highland Falls, NY, USA
Geographic coordinates 41°22′17″N 73°57′54″W / 41.37139°N 73.96500°W / 41.37139; -73.96500
Affiliation United Methodist Church, formerly the Presbyterian Church USA
Leadership Rev. Scharlise Dorsey
Website United Methodist Church of the Highlands
Architectural description
Architect(s) Frederick Clarke Withers
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
Direction of façade east
Completed 1868
Specifications
Spire(s) 1
Materials Stone
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Added to NRHP: November 23, 1982
NRHP Reference No. 82001216

The United Methodist Church of the Highlands, originally First Presbyterian Church of Highland Falls, is located on Main Street in Highland Falls New York, United States. It is a Frederick Clarke Withers building from the 1860s in the Romanesque Revival architectural style.[1]

It was the first church founded in the village. In 1982 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with other properties in the Hudson Highlands.[2]

Building[edit]

The church is located on the west side of Main Street in downtown Highland Falls, north of Tobin Lane. Across Main and the West Point Highway is the large complex around the United States Military Academy's Thayer Hotel and the parking lot for the West Point Museum. Another church, Sacred Heart, is to the north, with its school to the west. A residential area is to the south.[1]

The building itself is a three-bay blue granite structure with a steep gabled nave. On the east (front) facade is a narthex with an engaged bell tower on the southern end. It is topped with a steeply pitched slate roof, with a corbeled cornice and lancet windows below. The main entrance, a pair of heavy wooden doors in the center of the narthex, is framed by recessed columns with foliated capitals. On a projecting pediment above is a carved datestone.[1]

There is a single casement window in the narthex to the north of the door. Above the narthex, in the nave's gable field, is a large round window. The side elevations of the building have six pairs of lancet windows, separated by wall buttresses.[1]

History[edit]

The church was founded by five residents who met at first in a building on Mill Street in 1830. It was the first church established in Highland Falls. By 1867 the parish was large enough to erect its own church.[1]

The half-acre (2,000 m²) site was acquired from the estate of W.B. Cozzens. A design was commissioned from the firm of Wycliff and Baldwin, but it was never used. Instead money from the lecture tours of Edward Payson Roe, the pastor at the time who later became a popular novelist, and donations from friends helped the church commission and build the Withers design. John Bigelow, former ambassador to France and a summer resident of the village, attended the dedication ceremony.[1]

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