Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Judson Memorial Church

By the mid 1800's Greenwich Village had the largest African American community in the City joined by German, French, Irish, immigrants and to the immediate south a majority of Italian immigrants. Earlier more affluent communities had begun an exodus from the adjacent neighborhoods to the south and east. Edward Judson observed that "the intelligent, well-to-do, and church going people withdraw from this part of the city." Washington Square and Judson Memorial stood at the intersection between the affluence of Fifth Avenue and the poverty of Lower Manhattan. The church building, erected in 1890, designed by architect Stanford White, and stained glass master John La Farge, features Renaissance influences wedded to a basic Italianate form. SculptorAugustus St. Gaudens designed a marble frieze in the baptistery.

15 comments:

Lily Hydrangea said...

I love the way the light is shining above the door & the way the pedestrians are a moving blur in your top photo.
Nice.

Jacob said...

A very famous edifice!

Jarart said...

A grand entry!

bARE-eYED sUN said...

interesting write-up, thank you.

we agree on the light in the arch: muy cool! :-

btw, your Charles Lane pic rox! {Abbott be darned!)

Hilda said...

That's a magnificent entrance! And so unusual for me to see a church tucked in among other buildings.

B SQUARED said...

Interesting how one group tries to get away from another. When I grew up, it was referred to as White Flight;for obvious reasons.

bfarr said...

Come to the light ... Nice shot.

altadenahiker said...

I'd say that tower touches heaven.

Bbethany7 said...

We were married by Al Carmines
at JMC in 1965. We were on the second floor (10 guests) where
nearby some actors were rehearsing an avant-garde play. The cast were stark nude, which didn't bother us, but Al asked them to pipe down for ten minutes so he could perform
the ceremony. All went well.

Steve said...

As I understand the history of Judson, it was built as an act of "benevolence" by the wealthy, white Protestant landowners to the north of Washington Sq. for the swarthy, southern European "unenlightened" immigrants living to the south. Note that the church is mainline Baptist, while the Italian immigrants were, of course, Catholic. Note also that the architectural style is Italian neo-Renaissance, a gesture intended to make the poor Italians feel at home. All this was an effort to save the immigrants from their superstitious outdated religion and convert them to the true religion of America - Protestantism - and to hasten their assimilation into American culture. In those days Judson was never really used by the upstanding WASPS of Washington Square and the central Village - they had their own fine churches on Fifth Ave (Church of the Ascension, Episcopal and First Presbyterian), Grace (Episcopal) Church on Broadway, 13th St. Presbyterian Church, etc.

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