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> A Very Few General Guidelines For Churches, Should You Want an historical approach to the map
Nathan Hale
post Feb 17 2007, 05:16 AM
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The church depends on the religion and wealth of the congregation. Most churches of the age had white plaster interiors at the time. But poorer churches could've easily lacked that and had simple wood interiors. Germantown was not a poor town, so I'd imagine the local church had the usual white plaster treatment inside. The religious sect does matter though- some more extreme protestant sects had bare interiors, but the vast majority of mainstream ones at least had the white plaster interior.

A wealthy Episcopal Example:

Christ Church/ Old North

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:2006Boston007.jpg

Lots of white plaster inside. But be warned: VERY FEW churches were this rich or complex inside. The value of the shot, more than anything is to show the use of lots of white color and plastered walls used in those days in many churches. Most would've used similar basic materials, but been smaller and far simpler inside. Pews, of course, are wooden. The interior structure is quite basic: rows of pews with an aisle in the middle with a pulpit or altar (depending on the sect) in front. The huge balconies present here are not typical of small churches, though many churches of moderate size did have balconies (just much smaller).

Some things to notice: a plain altar in the middle straight ahead. To the left of the altar is the high pulpit. This is CLASSIC of period protestant churches. This is where the minister spoke his sermon. It's that little box that is seemingly floating to the left of the altar in the picture. Catholic churches would have a more elaborate altar and maybe some stained glass windows, but with usually no tall pulpit.

Exterior: Depends, again, on the sect and location. In the north Protestant Churches (esp in New England) were usually wooden. In the south (I'll use Mason-Dixon as the line) brick was common, especially for wealthier Anglican or Catholic groups. A few small churches (esp. Catholic and Anglican) in the south were even stone. There are some exceptions to this rule as it, itself, is not set in stone (so to speak).

I will not to into much more detail on exteriors since they vary widely based on area and sect. But the general rule of thumb can be: north+protestant usually= white clapboard with tall sash windows (sometimes brick, but not too often, as in the case of Old North above), south+Catholic (usually Maryland) is usually brick or (very rarely) stone, south+protestant=usually brick. Again, don't feel cornered into this framework if you REALLY want to do something a little different since exceptions existed. For example, if you have a poorer and rural church in mind, it can always just be wood.

Most bells by the 18th century were housed in the interior upper portion of the church, rather than the outside. Exterior bells were more common in small Catholic buildings in New Spain.

These are typical trends and do not cover EVERY possible church out there. If you have a specific and historically accurate example for it, go ahead with it.

This post has been edited by Nathan Hale: Feb 17 2007, 05:17 AM


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Sgt Pepper
post Feb 17 2007, 10:29 AM
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Sgt Pepper - Just the wrong side of 'taste' since 1805
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More good stuff, pinned. Just don't get disappointed when people do what they want instead of what they should. Artists..
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Cyris
post Feb 18 2007, 09:35 AM
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do you any outside shots of a wooden church from the time, i really cant find any, or maybe more shots of the church uve already used.
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Nathan Hale
post Feb 19 2007, 01:28 AM
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For some reason I've found it very difficult to find a variety of exterior 18th century church shots. Many of the wooden ones have burned down or fallen apart over the years. PLEASE READ THE WARNINGS BELOW:

Table of contents:
1. A Litchfield Church from 1820 {also see warning}
2. Old North in Boston in a drawing from the 19th century {also see warning}
3. LOC link to multiple small church images (THE BEST LINK)



1.
First: a mid-sized rural church from the 1820s (SEE WARNING BELOW)

http://www.fcclitchfield.org/

This is a church near my house. BE WARNED: it dates to about 1820 or so. It is based on the 18th century church but has 19th century elements. But the basic design should instruct you. The big windows and white clapboard approach would be correct. The long rectangular shape would be fine. You should not use big columns, a clock, or a large steeple like this. 18th century churches generally would have no columns (just your basic front steps with no covering), no clock, and a smaller steeple with a weathervane on top. But you get the idea: a white rectagular building with a small steeple, big sash windows. For more rural areas and poorer congregations make it a simplified version of the guidelines I've listed here. Again, no columns, no clock, and a smaller steeple should be the rule. But the general design you see here is okay.

A note about clocks: only for the very wealthy. YES- it's possible to have one, but only the large and wealthy churches will have them.




2.
Second: A wealthier urban church:

Old North

Here's Old North in Boston. It's much larger compared to rural churches. The clock is probably an early 19th century addition, but I don't remember exactly when it was put in. It's possible it was there, but I can't recall totally, but the steeple here dates to the early 1800s. The original blew down in a storm. Again something similar to this but simpler would probably be fine. This is a VERY WEALTHY church. It is Episcopalian and in a wealthy urban area. This sort of approach would work very well in southern urban maps like Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, etc. WARNING: the steeple is, again, a later addition and should be simplified.





3. LOC
Other images:

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel02.html


This one link has a bunch of old churches there. Browse through them, but most are accurate to the time period.

First: That first little building is an early Episcopalian building. It would be fine to have something like that if we have a more rural area or a smaller town.

Second: Christ Church in Philly. Rule: the wealthier the congregation (usually urban+protestant) the more complex the church and steeple. This was a VERY wealthy church, so you have a BIG building and a complex steeple.

Third: The rural baptist church. A tine clapboard shack with small windows and no add-ons. It's just a little one floor rectangular building with windows. Nothing more is needed, and this would be fine for rural maps.

Fourth: Colonial baptist church in RI. This is another wealthy, urban church. It has a clock and complex steeple. It shows a context where a clock would be okay. Remember- wealthy+urban= bigger church, more complex design, and maybe a clock.

But be sure and check the images there.


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Cyris
post Feb 19 2007, 10:34 AM
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ty very much, just what i was looking for :D

Ah and one question, would the interior from the http://www.fcclitchfield.org/# be similar to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:2006Boston007.jpg

This post has been edited by Cyris: Feb 19 2007, 10:40 AM
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Nathan Hale
post Feb 19 2007, 04:59 PM
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Much simpler- but the layout would be similar.

It would have had plain wooden pews that are NOT box pews like this, but rather just rows of benches that somewhat resemble wooden restaurant boothes (unpainted), no elaborate interior additions like the big arches and such. White plaster walls, somewhat plainer chandeliers, windows not quite as big, a bit smaller and plainer pulpit.

In general the layout would be similar, but everything would be plainer and simpler inside because Boston was much wealthier and Litchfield was Congregationalist and not Anglican.


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Nathan Hale
post Apr 24 2011, 03:43 PM
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Original post updated to remove dead links and fix others.


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