Now that April Fools Day is over, the rest of April will be New Haven Month at Historic Buildings of CT. First up is New Haven’s First Congregational Church, also called Center Church on-the-Green, due to its central location, between two other churches, on New Haven Green. The city’s congregation goes back to the founding of the New Haven colony in 1838. The new town was carefully planned out by the settlers in what is known as the “Nine Square Plan,” with New Haven Green at the center. Four successive Meeting Houses were constructed on the Green: the first in 1640, the second in 1669 and the third in 1757. The fourth and current church was built, in the Federal style, between 1812-1814. Designed by Asher Benjamin, who sent the plans from Boston, the church was built by the then unknown Ithiel Town, who may have added some of his own elements to the design. The building was one of many in America modeled on St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The interior was remodeled by Henry Austin in 1842. Center Church is also famous for having been partly constructed over the town’s old Colonial burying ground, remains of which can be found in the church’s Crypt.
Churches, Federal Style, New Haven