United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
Morristown, New Jersey
Client

United Methodist Church
50 Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960
Mr. Glenn Coutts
973-538-2132

Project Info

CONSTRUCTION COMPLETION DATE:
1972

Project Cost
$1,600,000

For 102 years, the United Methodist Church stood on the Morristown Green in Morristown, New Jersey. Its style was Norman Romanesque. Its exterior was puddingstone, a purple-cast glacial conglomerate deposited in Morris County, New Jersey, and nowhere else. The trim was Maine granite. The interior was black walnut and butternut – native woods.

In 1970, the church burned leaving only the hollow stone shell. The site of the Church consisted of 1.6 acres at the center of a growing urban area. Plans to renovate the Church included expanded educational and youth activity in keeping with the growing area. The limits of the existing site caused some people to consider relocation of the Church. Another alternative was to remove the remains of the burned church and build a completely new facility on the existing site.

The Congregation, however, was strongly in favor of restoration of the Church at the existing site. The design of Louis DiGeronimo, AIA and Neil Greydanus, AIA made this possible. Untouched by the fire, the towers, front facade, and administration-education wing would remain. The towers and front façade, a prominent element on the Town Square, would maintain the historical significance attributed to the church. The administration-education wing would be restructured to work with new additions. The newly constructed walls would utilize the stone salvaged from the old walls in an attempt to blend the old with the new without disrupting the character and meaning of the church in the community.

Thus, the sensitive contextual design of the renovation allowed the congregation to stay downtown, preserving not only the historical style of the Church, but also the history of the Congregation’s community.