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Grace Episcopal Church

Year Listed:



Plainfield, Union County


600 Cleveland Ave, Plainfield, NJ 07060, USA

Grace Episcopal Church

Grace Episcopal Church was founded in 1852, and the current building was constructed in 1892 by British-American architect Robert Gibson. Grace Church is a well-preserved example of Gothic Revival ecclesiastical architecture. Its most significant feature is the square tower with crenelated parapet and conical side tower and features a 47-bell carillon. Stained glass windows from Tiffany, Connick Studios, and Heaton, Butler & Bayne are featured. Later additions include the parish house (1905), chancel extensions (1930) and parish hall (1957). Each of the artisan firms hired to work on this building was representative of the best in their field. The early 20th century addition of one of the country’s earliest and largest carillons makes the edifice unique among religious institutions. Facing decades of diminished attendance, decreased income, potentially dangerous building conditions, and the inability to afford critical repairs to its 130-year-old church building, the Episcopal Church of Plainfield decided in 2020 (during the onset of the pandemic) to sell the building and find another worship space to continue their services to the community. During this transition, Grace Church was the subject of discussions of demolition and redevelopment of the property. In the fall of 2022, the municipality’s planning board voted to move forward with preparing plans to redevelop. The current zoning for Grace Church permits mixed-use structures including uses such as apartments, townhouses, childcare, retail, office space, restaurant, tavern, bank, or health and fitness club, banquet hall, parking lot, laundromat, and open space. Preservation New Jersey supports those advocating for the site to look into ways to adaptively reuse or if needed, sensitive redevelopment of the Grace Church that allows for preservation of the much-loved structure.

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