Status: Progress Made
07/2010 Update: The church received a grant for a Preservation Plan, which was completed in 2007. Some interior repairs/ restoration have taken place, as well as ongoing maintenance, including roof repairs. The church will be applying for another NJ Historic Trust grant this fall for additional structural assessment and exterior repairs. The congregation remains committed to the preservation of the historic church structure, and to expanding its membership and programs.
St. Michael’s, organized in 1703, is the oldest Episcopal parish in the Trenton area and one of the oldest in New Jersey. During the Battle of Trenton that followed the Continental Army’s fabled crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve in 1776, much of the fighting focused on the churchyard where Hessians troops had stationed artillery. The cemetery contains many notable graves including David Brearley, a signer of the U. S. Constitution, and the infant daughter of Joseph Bonaparte.
The church building was initially constructed in 1748. Its current façade, built in 1851, is a rare example of castellated Gothic Revival architecture. The interior of the building consists of an east-west nave and apse crossed by a transept with an organ at its north end. Tall, ornamented arches resting on stone corbels span the back of the nave and its intersection with the transept. The floor consists of mosaic tile. The exterior walls have three pointed arch stained glass windows on each side, one of which is by Tiffany.
St. Michael’s problems are shared by many older churches in New Jersey cities. Its congregation is dwindling and aging. With resources insufficient to meet the on-going repair and restoration needs of a historic building, they deferred maintenance over a long period. This, in turn, resulted in serious structural and other problems, which now threaten to overwhelm the congregation.
The Church received a $26,250 New Jersey Historic Trust grant in the 2005 grant round.
Jerry Harcar, Trenton Landmarks Commission
319 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
John D. S. Hatch, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, Clarke Caton Hintz
100 Barrack Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Tel: 609 883 8383, Ext.304