Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hidden Plainfield: More cornerstones ID'ed

The U.M.P.A. Church is in an unusual and distinctive location.

Yesterday's Hidden Plainfield was a further selection of Plainfield cornerstones.

Cornerstone A is at the UMPA Healing Temple Church (above) south of Front Street on Clinton Avenue, just before the NJT underpass.

The cornerstone of the rebuilt Crescent Avenue was quarried in the Holy Land.

Cornerstone B is on the front of Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, whose grand Victorian Gothic building burned down. The church was rebuilt on the same foundation, hence the two dates on the cornerstone.

Cornerstone C is on the Main Post Office.

There was once much ado about William McAdoo, who was Secretary of the Treasury when the Main Post Office at the corner of Watchung Avenue and East 2nd Street was built in 1915, though his name may mean nothing to Plainfielders today.

An ambitious man with an interesting career (see here), McAdoo's financial misadventures led him to New York City where he met Francis Pemberton, son of the Confederate Civil War general. He was instrumental in finishing the Hudson River rail tunnels which are now the PATH system in 1908, and as Secretary of the Treasury under Woodrow Wilson avoided having the United States fall into a depression on the eve of World War I by closing the New York Stock Exchange for four months.

This medallion is not really a cornerstone.
I am clueless about the representation (a Revolutionary War figure?)
and its connection with the temple of commerce.

'Cornerstone' D was a trick question. It's not really a cornerstone at all, but an emblem on the exterior wall above the original corner entry of what was built as Plainfield's Sears store at West Front Street and Grove Streets. Originally the site of the former First Baptist Church, which was merged with the Park Avenue Baptist Church (which stood at the corner of Park and East 9th, where the Art Deco apartment building is) to form First-Park Baptist Church at West 7th and Central Avenue, the building now houses the Park-Madison Pharmacy. 

Where shall we go next week?

  • Hidden Plainfield:  "More cornerstones" -- All comments and guesses have been posted.
-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Always informative, Dan. Thanks for telling us where the Park Baptist church was located. I have never seen a picture of it on its triangular lot at 9th street, or rather Prospect and Park. The First Baptist church, on the other hand, looks quite solid and imposing in the pictures I have seen. I think you showed us one picture of it when you reported on the renovations to the old Sears building.

Dan said...

@ 7:33 AM -- I've seen pictures of Park Avenue Baptist church on the Plainfield Library's photography archive -- think it was postcards. check it out.

Meanwhile, Wendell Woods, a friend who is music minister at Shiloh Baptist Church recently posted this tidbit on his Facebook page:

"An interesting, and perhaps little known fact about Plainfield: There is a common hymn sung in many protestant churches entitled "Nothing But the Blood." It was composed by Robert Lowry. Dr. Lowry was a pastor of the then Park Avenue Baptist Church (now the historic First Park BC) in Plainfield. I noted as I was scrolling through that the actual tune to this great hymn is PLAINFIELD, named after our gracious city - also composed by Dr. Lowry. It's good to know that the city of Plainfield has and continues to inspire and positively impact society!"

More is available about Lowry here

and here

Anonymous said...

May I use a the photograph of the Presbyterian Church cornerstone in a blog post about its longtime pastor, John James Moment? I plan to provide a full citation, including the URL of your blog post.

Kenneth Taylor
Athens, GA

Dan said...

Mr. Taylor, help yourself. Regards, Dan

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Kenneth Taylor