Dutch Reformed Church
(source: Daniel Case)
An 1842 engraving of Newburgh: the Dutch Reformed Church stands out as the prominent white building on the hillside (source: J. Hoekema, retrieved from Newburgh DRC website, link below)
Newburgh in 1846, as depicted by engraver William Wade as part of his 6-foot-long panoramic "Virtual Trip up the Hudson." The church is the rectangular building to the right of the city, once again a notable landmark (source: Newburgh DRC website)
Postcard of the church, c. 1910s (source: Newburgh DRC website)
An image of the parsonage, since destroyed (source: Newburgh DRC website)
Church and parsonage in 1891 (source: Newburgh DRC website)
Backstory and Context
The gigantic portico, and lofty dome…will henceforth serve as a conspicuous and characteristic landmark, indicative of the taste, discrimination, and sense of classical beauty, of the inhabitants of Newburgh.
(Quoted in "Early History," Newburgh Dutch Reformed Church).
Inspired by the acropolis in Athens and other Greek temples, he designed the building to be truly awe-inspiring and monumental, a statement of Newburgh's importance. The "lofty dome" he mentions was removed in 1843.
Davis, for his part, was one of the top American architects of his day. He partnered with Ithiel Town from 1829 to 1835 to build numerous public buildings such as the North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana state capitols. Davis then began his own architectural practice. Over the course of his career, he produced designs for both public and domestic works in a wide range of styles: Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, and Italianate. One of his best-known projects is the Gothic Revival-style Lyndhurst mansion, located in Tarrytown, New York. An accomplished artist, Davis also created designs and illustrations for A.J. Downing's 1850 book The Architecture of Country Houses (1850) and journal The Horticulturist.
In 1967, final services were held before the church was closed. Efforts to conserve the building soon arose. In 1971, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2001, it became a National Historic Landmark. Work to restore the church is still underway.
"City Seeks Developer for the City Club, Dutch Reformed Church and Waterfront Property." Newburgh Restoration. November 30, 2016. Accessed March 08, 2017. http://newburghrestoration.com/blog/2016/11/30/city-seeks-developer-for-the-city-club-dutch-reformed....
"A Closer Look: Dutch Reformed Church." World Monument Fund. Accessed March 09, 2017. https://www.wmf.org/project/dutch-reformed-church.
Peck, Amelia. "Alexander Jackson Davis (1803–1892)." The Met: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. October 2004. Accessed March 09, 2017. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/davs/hd_davs.htm.
"Seven to Save: 2016-17." Preservation League of NYS. Accessed March 09, 2017. http://www.preservenys.org/seven-to-save---2016-17.html.
Photo credits: most photos retrieved from the Newburgh Dutch Reformed Church website: http://www.newburghdrc.org/hist/hist.htm and http://www.newburghdrc.org/hist/hist2.htm. First photo by Daniel Case retrieved here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dutch_Reformed_Church,_Newburgh_NY.jpg.