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Methodist Episcopal Church, Verona, NJ

March 23, 2017

This Methodist church in Verona, New Jersey has twice been the site of meetings by the local historical society. But a search for supplementary images yields very few that inform. Google produces one interior view that is misidentified as Calvary Lutheran and a few others are quite small. But they DO know what they’ve got:

The church, located at the corner of Montrose Avenue and Hill Streets, was built in 1909 and is a so-called Akron Plan structure. Some of the interior walls can be raised or lowered with pulleys to change how much space is available for worship or Sunday school classes. The Verona Landmarks Preservation Commission, which had pushed the designation, told the Council that the New Jersey Historical Commission was “astounded” to learn that the church’s pulley system was still intact. Windows in the church have been tentatively attributed to the workshop of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

At least one of their intrepid members went into the roof truss work and gave us this intriguing topside view of the ornamental dome lit from above by the lantern you can see in the postcard.

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2 Comments
  1. Sandra Smith permalink

    I am with the Verona Landmarks Preservation Commission and found this today. I have many more pictures of the church. I am seeking information on Akron plan churches in New Jersey that retain the working apparatus of the moving walls. It is important to know as we are re-approaching the NJ Historic Preservation Commission for State designation. Any ideas on how I could research would be invaluable as when we last applied this came up. New Jersey has many splendid churches and cathedrals and ours was deemed a bit ordinary with the exception of the working pulley system. Please feel free to email me. Thanks in advance.

    • Hello! So glad to have your inquiry. I’ve been investigating Akron-Auditorium churches nationwide for many years and ought to be close to publication but you know how research goes: there’s always one more inquiry to make, one more detail to verify. Have you visited the New Jersey Churchscape website? Robert Greenagle (I think that’s the spelling) has accumulated the most information on religious buildings in New Jersey than anyone. I think there is an intact Akron Plan Sunday School in Elizabeth (which I visited several years ago) and another in the western side of the state. I’ll be pleased to share any insights we have from another point of view. Feel free to write me at plains.architecture@gmail.com.

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