First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church


First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church


The First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church is located in a significant urban position, at the intersection Broad Street and Central Avenue and the tip of Military Park. As a result, its presence in this urban scenography contributes to create a pleasant view for the pedestrian and the car driver.
This church was designed by the Newark-born architect, William Halsey Wood, and was commissioned to be built by local industrialist and politician, Thomas B. Peddie. Construction finished in 1890.
Architecturally, the church presents an unusual typology with a circular auditorium capped by a big dome. This form alludes to historical precedents such as the Pantheon in Rome, and the Pisa Baptistery. Two towers frame the front façade and a third one is located on the side. Contrary to other churches, the First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church, lacks a temple front. The transition from the street to the interior follows through the front steps and an arcade of polished granite columns with capitals that reminiscence a Moorish or Byzantine style. The entirety of the exterior is dressed in a rough-hewn brown granite that endows the church with a feeling of mystique and primitiveness. The interior is dominated by the round pews, balcony and altar—a typical theater configuration. It accommodates 1000 people. There is a rich palette of materials applied here as well, comprising of stone revetment, wood and metal work, and Tiffany glass windows.





Condition History

The church has been preserved and no major alterations have been made to the building. The original tile of the roof was replaced by slate. A statue of Gabriel blowing a trumpet standing on the top of the dome was destroyed by a storm.
This building continues to serve its function as a church. However, the local parish has undergone a process of diversification in terms of demographic and cultural makeup. Members at the First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church come from different countries and speak a variety of languages.


"Architectural Aberrations: The Peddie Memorial Church, Newark, NJ". Architectural Record 2. (July-September 1892): 91.

Gordon, Mark W., and Anthony Schuman, editors. Newark Landmark Treasures: A Guide to the Landmark Buildings, Parks, Public Art & Historic Districts in New Jersey’s Metropolis. Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, 2016, p. 52.

Historic American Buildings Survey. "First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church, Broad & Fulton Streets, Newark, Essex County, NJ." HABS NJ,7-NEARK,33-.

National Register of Historic Places, First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, National Register #72000774.

"The Peddie Memorial Baptist Church, Newark, NJ." American Architect and Building News 31 (7 February 1891): 94, pl. 789.


Richardson Romanesque


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William Halsey Wood, “First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church,” DANA, accessed July 24, 2024,

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