Thursday, August 24th, 2017

FIRST MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN DOVER IS ON HISTORIC REGISTERS

The Morris County Freeholders last night honored the First Presbyterian Church and Congregation of Dover with a Historic Preservation plaque to be installed in the circa 1900  First Memorial Presbyterian Church, an iconic site in the Town of Dover.

exterior photo of the First Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dover

First Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dover

The church is located in Dover’s Blackwell Street Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Pastor Alan Schaefer and Elder Ed Dorsey of the First Presbyterian Church and Congregation of Dover, accepted the historic plaque at the freeholder’s Wednesday meeting held in Victory Gardens.

Historic restoration work done at the church were partly financed through the Morris County Historic Preservation Grant Program, which provided $505,175 to the church in Dover for the project.

photo at Victory gardens town hall of First Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dover of (l/r) Ray Chang, Freeholders Deborah Smith and Doug Cabana, Pastor Alan Schaefer and Ed Dorsey, and Freeholders John Cesaro, Christine Myers, Kathy DeFillippo, and Tom Mastrangelo

(l/r) Ray Chang, Freeholders Deborah Smith and Doug Cabana, Pastor Alan Schaefer and Ed Dorsey, and Freeholders John Cesaro, Christine Myers, Kathy DeFillippo, and Tom Mastrangelo

“The remarkable preservation work done at this church preserved a very important and unique facet of this building, which has been part of the fabric of Dover’s history for a very long time,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “The First Presbyterian Church has done remarkable work in preserving a real treasure for their community. We congratulate them for their outstanding effort.’’

Morris County Historic Preservation Program Coordinator Ray Chang provided details of the Dover project:

  • The 1900 First Memorial Presbyterian Church was conceived and built by Hudson Hoagland, one of Dover’s wealthiest and most ambitious resident, in honor of his wife.
  • Indiana limestone, one of the finest and most durable of the nation’s building stones, was used in construction of the church. Its innovative electric lighting system in the sanctuary was years ahead of its time.
  • The outstanding Tiffany-style stained glass windows from Benjamin Sellars of New York City are among the finest of their type anywhere. The largest of these is at the center of the east wall, a mosaic of more than 7,000 pieces of art glass.
  • With assistance from a County Historic Preservation grant totaling $505,175, the church has successfully preserved the stained glass windows and improved the roof drainage system.

For more information on the history of Dover, visit: http://www.dovernjhistory.org/

For information on Dover’s Blackwell Street Historic District, visit: http://www.livingplaces.com/NJ/Morris_County/Dover_Town/Blackwell_Street_Historic_District.html

For information on the county’s Historic Preservation Grant Program, visit: https://morriscountynj.gov/planning/divisions/prestrust/historic/