Union Congregational Church - Worcester MA
Posted by: nomadwillie
N 42° 15.851 W 071° 48.262
19T E 268703 N 4682917
Quick Description: Also known as Chestnut Street Congregational Church
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 6/22/2010 4:07:49 AM
Waymark Code: WM93DR
Union Congregational Church or Chestnut Street Congregational Church is a historic Congregational church building at 5 Chestnut Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Gothic Revival church was built in 1895 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The church was modeled after the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The Church that did occupy the building was closed sometime in the 1980's. The building is now occupied by New England Dream Center which is a social service organization.
The Gothic Revival style became so dominant by the end of the 19th century that the façade of a prominent Congregational church could be patterned after Notre-Dame of Paris. Philip Moen, one of the major supporters, claimed French Huguenot (Protestant) ancestry - similar to Martin Brimmer, founder director of the Museum of Fine Arts and patron of Trinity Church, Boston. Chestnut Street church's distinctive façade, completed 1897, was visible in many published views of the city. The building's design was the work of Stephen Earle, also architect of Central Church, here working with partner Clellan Fisher. Divided into three levels, as in the French 13th-century model, the exterior shows similar twin towers, central rose window, and horizontal moldings emphasized by contrasting stones. The base contained three pointed arches in front of the central doors. The interior, however, did not echo Gothic models with solid stone columns and sequential division of space. Chestnut Street's interior wooden roof of curving segments achieves a sense of unity. The sanctuary could seat 900 persons. A subsidiary chapel was given in 1896 by the widow of Philip Moen in memory of her husband. Designed to seat 350, the chapel was adorned with gilded and stenciled peacock colored walls and provided with steam heating. Over the altar was an opalescent stained glass window of the Angel of Praise designed by the New York artist Henry Landon Parkhurst (died 1921). This window has been transferred to Pakachoag Church, Auburn, MA. In the sanctuary the stained glass was opalescent non-figural in tones of mauve, green, blue, and amber. The roses above the transepts and entrance showed simply geometric patterns playing on the motif of the Gothic arch that harmonized with the interior color scheme of olive walls and gold diaper work. The sort light reveals the intricate carving of the wooden hammer-beam roof and pews.
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