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Linden Baptist Church, Camden, NJ

March 10, 2016

In my typology of Akron-Auditorium churches, perhaps the least interesting has been the F-1, those that have both an auditorium and an Akron plan Sunday School but are not conjoined with the movable partition. Uninteresting because they don’t play the game of mix-and-match. Yet that category includes a number of churches that have broadened the database with examples that go beyond the traditional mainstream Protestants. Here is an example — Linden Baptist Church in Camden, New Jersey — with some fortuitous documentation.

NJcamdenLindenBap

Although this real photo image is poor, it does show the church under construction but unidentified. The information that helped to identify it is on the other side, a message confirming construction, providing a date (the spring of 1909), and attribution, for it is signed by the architect himself, Arnold Moses.

NJcamdenLindenBap2

Armed with this, it was relatively simple to identify the church and locate published information about it.

NJcamdenLindenBap3

The article about its construction features the concrete dome made of site-cast units, a design shared between Arthur Truscott and Arnold Moses as associated architects. The auditorium shown is an octagon-in-square that I’ve more often encountered in Christian Science churches of that same era. What doesn’t show is the Sunday School, which you’ll have to take on faith is a full blown Akron model that actually predates the sanctuary by a few years but for which I have no image. Tragically, both were lost in a four-alarm fire of 1954. The site — like much of Camden — is a vacant lot.

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