Old Dutch Church
The First Reformed Protestant Church in Kingston, New York is one of the earliest known congregations in the United States and is still active to this day. More commonly known and referred to as the Old Dutch Church, it had its first congregation organized in 1659, just 50 years after Christopher Columbus sailed up the Hudson River. The building it uses today was built in 1852.
Backstory and Context
Downtown Kingston is often referred to, in certain parts, as the Kingston Stockade. This is because the Dutch governor in the mid 1600s, Peter Stuyvesant, wanted the settlers from Europe to be protected from Native American attacks. Stuyvesant built up a large protected area in Kingston, known as the Kingston Stockade, and the church is located there.
An interim church building was located across Main Street (now St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church), but by 1851, it was realized that the congregation needed a new, larger church. The new church was built from bluestone and cost $33,631.39 between labor and materials. In today’s money, that is almost 1.1 million dollars. Surprisingly, for such a massive labor intensive and large project, the church only took a year to complete.
The designer, Minard Lafever, brought many design influences when building the church. The most predominant influences are Egyptian and Greek influences. In the time period the church was built, it followed current treads as fitting the Renaissance Revival architecture style. The rounded architecture and cathedral ceilings inside of the building also represent English influences.
Presently, the church has many different parts to it. It sits on the corner of Wall Street and Main Street. The actual church entrance, were religious ceremonies and other similar practices are held, is on Main Street. The entrance on Wall Street is to the back of the actual church. Entering on Wall Street leads you to a large room with a stage. Most events held in this room include penny socials, pasta dinners, etc., as the church also has a full sized kitchen.
Musso, Anthony P. "Kingston's Old Dutch Church steeped in history that dates to 1659." Poughkeepsie Journal. July 11, 2017. https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2017/07/11/kingston-old-dutch-church-dateline/466320001/.
Chronology. Old Dutch Church. . April 12, 2019. http://olddutchchurch.org/chronology/.