Connolly & Hickey 

First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Client: First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
Grants: Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, Union County Historic Preservation Trust Fund

First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
Credit: Memories TTL, LLC

First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth    
(click on image for larger view)
Brief Historical Overview:
First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth is a complex of structures consisting of the Church, Cemetery and Parish House. It is the site of the first English-speaking congregation in the State of New Jersey and was the center of community life in the settlement of Elizabethtown. The first church building was constructed circa 1665; the building was replaced in 1724 with a second wood-frame structure that burned during the American Revolution. In 1793, the existing brick church was constructed in a typical traditional New England style including a belfry and steeple. In 1946, the Church was partially destroyed by a fire and rebuilt to its original configuration with the exception of the steeple due to limited funding. The burying ground has approximately 2,032 known grave locations as well as hundreds of unknown locations; the oldest stone dates to 1687 and the last burial was in 1916. The cemetery contains the graves of many prominent settlers and founders of our nation. The Parish House was constructed in 1917. Its site was originally the location of the Academy, a grammar school founded in 1766 and attended by Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The Parish House is a fine example of early, twentieth-century architecture, and retains a high degree of architectural integrity on the interior and exterior.

Scope of Services:
In 2004, Connolly & Hickey prepared a Historic Site Master Plan for the First Presbyterian Church complex including an assessment of each grave marker. The plan provides a historical overview of the site examining its historic significance, analyzing existing conditions, and makes recommendations for repair, restoration and rehabilitation. The report evaluated the feasibility of providing new and expanded uses at the Parish House. The Parish House will be used for the Church's existing outreach programs, to house the archives, and for providing cultural and historical programming. Connolly & Hickey is working with the Church to restore the Church and Cemetery and to rehabilitate the Parish House for the proposed expanded uses. The exterior restoration of the Parish House and reconstruction of the Steeple were completed in 2008. The restoration of the cemetery was completed in 2012. The interior rehabilitation of the Parish House was completed in October 2014. Connolly & Hickey provided architectural and historic preservation services for each phase including the preparation of design and contract document, pre-qualification, bidding and negotiation, and administration of the contracts during construction. The Church restoration included a new roof installed in 2013 and work will progress over the next 18 months on the restoration of the brick, brownstone, windows and doors.

Visit http://fpcenj.org/ to learn more about the First Presbyterian Church and check out the Parish House as possible event space.

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Connolly & Hickey  l   P.O. Box 1726  l   Cranford, New Jersey 07016  l   info@chhistoricalarchitects.com  l   973-746-4911   facebook