Saturday, October 11, 2014

New England Reflections 2014 (Cont.): Platypus Travels Part LIV

The Church on the Green

There are two churches on Huntington Green.  I passed them nearly every day.  Neither of them are particularly grand -at least not by the standards of other churches on other greens.  I never attended either of them, but I love them each in their own special way.  I've already shown you two gems from the Episcopal church pictured above.  Let me show you the rest.
 The sky blue vault represents heaven.  The lamps you see would originally have burned whale oil but have been converted for electricity.  All these pictures were taken in natural light at about 10:30 in the morning.
 The church is not laid out in a cruciform pattern, but follows the simple "salt box" colonial architecture.  In this, as in its general austerity, Congregationalist influence is evident.  To add a little Episcopal twist, the rectangular sanctuary has been divided (by the columns that support the balcony) into three parts (representing the Trinity), as in early Christian churches.
 The knave and altar have been re-done several times.  The arch was added in the Victorian Era.  It was one of three (probably representing the Trinity), but the two arches on either side of the main arch were removed in subsequent renovations.  The altar rail, altar, and tabernacle all alert us that this is an Episcopal church.
 Here, we get a glimpse of the lectern and the stone baptistery.  The rectangular window is edged with panes of colored glass, probably from the local Tiffany factory.  More consciously modern stations of the cross can be seen on either side of the window.  Also, note the old whale oil lamp above the lectern that has been refitted for electricity.  
 This is the rear of the church with the exposed organ pipes between the red curtains.  The organ console can be seen peaking above the neoclassical balustrade to the left.  Note also the mirror hanging above the organ that allows the organist to coordinate with the priest.  The bell tower contains a set of chimes that play three hymns three time a day.  We were able to hear the twelve o'clock ringing and it was beautiful.
 The picture above and the two that follow are all views from the balcony.  In colonial times, this is where slaves and servants would have sat along with others of low station.  Notice how the large and numerous windows that are the hallmark of the high colonial style fill the church with light.


 One of two front windows that have been left in beautiful simplicity.
 Another view of the exit with symmetrical staircases leading to the balcony.
One of the staircases and two plaques commemorating the refurbishing of the organ and the addition of the bells.

A rubbing taken of the slave carvings that line the section of the balcony where they once sat.  Connecticut freed slaves under a certain age after the Revolution, but the memory of their presence has remained.

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