Union Baptist Church

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

Welcome back to Thursday Doors. Today. I am featuring one more church from Hartford, Connecticut’s Clay Hill area. As with the previous three posts, I am relying heavily on the nomination form from the effort to get this building listed in the National Registry of Historic Places (NRHP).  Also, I want to let you all know that we are having some work done at our house, and I may not get to your posts until later than usual.

Union Baptist Church, originally known as the Memorial Church of Saint Thomas (Episcopal), is a small stone church built in 1871 in the Early English Gothic style. Located on Main Street in Hartford’s North End, a busy area mostly of multi-family dwellings, the church shares its lot at the northeast corner of Old North Cemetery with the parish hall and the parsonage. The hall is a one-story frame structure connected to the rear of the church, and the parsonage next door to the south is a 2 1/2-story brick house with a hipped roof, dormers, and projecting gabled bay in front. The hall was added in 1884 and the parsonage in 1894. The plan of the church includes a nave, side aisles, short transepts and an apse. There is a small projection, probably the sacristy, off the north transept. The church is oriented toward the east, and the entrance is on the south side, near the rear, where there is a small porch. The walls are a coursed ashlar of rough surfaced grey Westerly granite, with gables and buttresses coped with a similar but lighter and smoother stone. The main part of the church is divided by buttresses into three bays of 16′ each; it was planned to add another two bays, so the west wall was considered temporary and was made of brick. This plan was never realized. The slate-shingled gable roof has a very steep pitch which breaks somewhat over the aisles. The most serious alteration to the exterior was the destruction in the 1938 hurricane of the bell-cote. This was a buttressed extension of the wall at the east end of the nave to form a steep gable which was pierced by two openings for bells (never hung); only the very lowest part of the bell-cote remains. Some cresting was also blown off the roof of the apse.

National Registry of Historic Places Nomination Form

The plan of the church includes a nave, side aisles, short transepts and an apse. There is a small projection, probably the sacristy, off the north transept. The church is oriented toward the east, and the entrance is on the south side, near the rear, where there is a small porch. The walls are a coursed ashlar of rough surfaced grey Westerly granite, with gables and buttresses coped with a similar but lighter and smoother stone. The main part of the church is divided by buttresses into three bays of 16′ each; it was planned to add another two bays, so the west wall was considered temporary and was made of brick. This plan was never realized. The slate-shingled gable roof has a very steep pitch which breaks somewhat over the aisles. The most serious alteration to the exterior was the destruction in the 1938 hurricane of the bell-cote. This was a buttressed extension of the wall at the east end of the nave to form a steep gable which was pierced by two openings for bells (never hung); only the very lowest part of the bell-cote remains. Some cresting was also blown off the roof of the apse.

National Registry of Historic Places Nomination Form

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101 comments

  1. I’m so glad for the photo of the interior! That really show the purpose of the exterior, doesn’t it? It certainly looks as though upkeep would be a challenge, and I hope they can do it! What a great old church.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is an impressive building Dan. I sure hope it gets the TLC it needs. I love the dormers, especially viewed from the inside. Beautiful stained glass windows. What a shame they were never able to install the church bells. The engraving of the church is quite a piece of craftsmanship.

    The parsonage is quite large. In the peak of the parsonage there is a door or window that is set in. I can’t imagine it’s a door, but that’s what it looks like.
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do hope they can maintain and preserve this beautiful church, Ginger.

      I saw the window/door you mentioned in the parsonage. I was wondering if there might have been a small balcony at one time. It’s a little odd looking set back as it is.

      I was so glad to find the interior images.

      I hope you’re having a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful church. It seems to be well cared for.
    The first and second photos show off the church shrouded with trees. I like that composition.
    I like too, that you included the engraving. It is always an extra treat for me, to see the evolution of buildings over time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was happy to find that engraving. It’s the only image that shows the bells. Thanks for your comment about the photos in the trees. I’d prefer to get good shots of the doors, but with nowhere to park, I was limited to what I could get from my car window.

      Your post was beautiful today!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great question, Lois. This one was prepared by a consultant to the CT State Historic Commission. Government forms require a certain number of things to be covered. When I was a consultant in the early 1980s, one of my skills was the preparation of regulatory forms for the establishment of new banks. The FDIC, FHLBB, OCC and various state banking commissions all look for different things. We knew exactly what buttons to press.

      The goal with the nomination form is to explain the reasons this particular building needs to be preserved. It needs to be more than old, it has to somehow contribute to the history of the area in a unique way. I’m sure the consultant knew exactly what to include. I love it when they feel that interior photos will help.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It’s not what I would call small, but it is smaller than several other churches on the same street.

      I loved your post. I forgot to ask, where you would rank English grammar in comparison to Spanish. Frankly, I remember struggling with German grammar when I studied the language in school (many years ago).

      Like

      • Thank you. English grammar is so much easier! In Spanish you have to learn numerous grammar forms, esp. tenses.
        I suppose German can be a bit tricky to learn with the compound nouns and the different case endings.

        Liked by 1 person

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