Irvington – Sacred Heart of Jesus

By | November 10, 2011

A harmonious design in the Gothic Revival style, the church is constructed of steel reinforced concrete. The facing is a hard pressed pink mingled iron spot brick with Indiana limestone used for trim, pinnacles, finials, gablets, and buttress caps. The roof is finished with a variegated slate of ranging colors. The tower is 90 feet in height.

The windows were executed in New Jersey by artists trained in Germany. The interior is trimmed with limestone pilasters, colonnettes and buttresses. The fields between the pilasters are finished with low toned caen stone with a wainscoting of scagliola. The floor is done in terrazzo. The main altar, reredos, communion rail, side altars, stations of the cross, and pulpit all were designed by the architect as part of the church and were executed in marble and mosaic by artists in Italy. – Adapted from description by Anthony J. DePace, July 13, 1953.

gliola. The floor is done in terrazzo. The main altar, reredos, communion rail, side altars, stations of the cross, and pulpit all were designed by the architect as part of the church and were executed in marble and mosaic by artists in Italy. – Adapted from description by Anthony J. DePace, July 13, 1953.

Jersey City – Our Lady of Sorrows

By | September 24, 2011

 

Our Lady of Sorrows – a nearly century-old Roman Catholic parish marked in popular history as the matrimonial site of Frank and Nancy Sinatra – stands in polychromatic beauty…

Richly rendered orange buff brick, foaming terracotta tiles, smoothed lengths of limestone, a marble monument that literally reflects a Renaissance master in artistic precision and aesthetic exactitude.

From without, the vernacular Lombard Romanesque church – also known as First Romanesque, a style manifested in Lombardy (Northern Italy) in the 10th and 11th centuries and characterized primarily by blind arcades along gables, parapets and campaniles – is aglow in an orange and blond matrix of brick and limestone. A central raised arched doorway is outlined by floral keystones, a pattern repeated in a seemingly continuous course without and within.

Ten tall arched window openings fenestrate the east and west walls of the church. Two square towers with stone arcade balustrades on each side break into octagonal belfries roofed with Lombardic terracotta tiles.

The Claremont Avenue facade is a vernacularized classicism, a bold bow to Italian antiquity. But a different architectural order is at work on the inside. The shallow foyer opens to an immense column-free sanctuary – an engineering feat made possible by advances in structural steel construction.

In the 1930s, Modernism was finding its way into historicist architecture; century-old architectural anatomies like slender pillars and towering triforiums were slowly being eradicated for more simplistic layouts that allowed clearer views of the chancel and increased light penetration.

At its unveiling in 1935, Our Lady of Sorrows was considered to be Jersey City’s first unobstructed church interior and hence one of its earliest Modernist edifices. The prominent Italian-American architect Anthony J. DePace designed a single gaping space under a low ceiling that culminates at shallow proscenium-arched transept alcoves and a main ciborium altar backed against a sheer plaster wall.

A series of 10 stained glass windows designed by Rivell Studios are themselves modern; simplistically executed effigies staring out of looking glass emblems, the names of Italian parish founders and families memorialized in their bottom ventilation panels

From John Gomez in The Jersey Journal, March 12, 2009.

The church was built by Auriemma and Macchi Construction Company.

Orange – Our Lady of Mount Carmel

By | August 7, 2011

The present church, which seats about 950, was dedicated on December 8, 1933. The church is a fine example of Italian Renaissance architecture and is of a style that has been called Lombard Romanesque. Standing 160 feet above the street below is the church’s bell tower that is a stylistic interpretation of the Venetian campaniles of San Giorgio and San Marco. The top of the tower, in brilliant gold leaf, is visible for miles, especially from Interstate 280.

The front facade contains artistic details that are inspired by other famous churches of the Italian Renaissance period. The magnificent bronze doors are particularly notable. The facade also boasts the episcopal coat of arms of Bishop Thomas J. Walsh of Newark and the Italian royal arms of the House of Savoy.

The interior was modeled after several Franciscan churches in Italy. Like its exterior, the interior contains warmth of character and pleasing proportions that can be attributed to its reliance on Palladian architectural principles of symmetry and balance. The Stations of the Cross, in the style of Della Robbia, were executed in Germany.

The builder was D. J. Cronin.

Given to the care of the Capuchin Friars until 2006, the parish currently is under the direction of the Brothers of St. John.