ROMANESQUE –THE PRESBYTERIAN GOTHIC
tours of our church, an interesting question sometimes arises.
Why did so many Presbyterian churches, 125 years ago, especially
Presbyterian leaders worried that young people were defecting to the
Episcopalians. They blamed a
return of Anglican emphasis on high-church worship in an appropriate
(Gothic) setting. Presbyterians
wanted something more ethereal and stylish than the austere meetinghouse
or symmetrical Georgian box. Romanesque
structures provided a compromise short of the over-elaborate Gothic.
had dominated the medieval (Roman) church for almost four centuries
leading up to the Protestant Reformation.
Rejection of Roman Catholic (and Anglican) influence led some
congregations to reject their church design.
In a touch of irony, many ethnic German Catholic parishes here also
erected Romanesque Revival buildings.
Some in the Reformed
tradition sought a return to the “primitive Church.”
Those familiar with the sources of Romanesque – ancient
The appeal of the
fashionable Richardsonian Romanesque Revival cannot be discounted.
Whatever the reasons,