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Hillside Presbyterian Church, Orange, NJ

December 31, 2013

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New York City architects Rossiter & Wright were well known practitioners at the turn of the last century, but they are hardly household words today, especially here in the Midwest. But the firm was prolific in the burgeoning suburbs of northern New Jersey, especially in the Oranges. Hillside Presbyterian Church is a design of theirs, opened for services in 1888 but not finished until 1891. Now and then what were called “cabinet photos” show up on ebay, and they tend to be better quality images, as genuine photographs rather than reproductions of various sorts.

This sprawling complex still stands at the corner of Scotland Road and Hillside Avenue and looks very much as it does in this photo. There is obviously a complex internal arrangement here which warrants a letter or email. In the meantime, enjoy.

The Oranges, by the way, are a cluster of suburbs once filled with architect-designed single-family houses of distinction (many by Rossiter & Wright and my friend William Halsey Wood) but which have shifted dramatically as the economics of the area have up-ended. All of Wood’s houses are gone, leaving institutional holdouts like Hillside Presbyterian. For a comparison, here are a couple of R&W houses.

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