Christ Church, Revisited

Earlier today, I posted a 1914 view toward the Saugatuck River, from what is now Birchwood Country Club.

I pointed out various Riverside Avenue sites, like the old Staples High School and Assumption Church. But I had no clue about the church on the far left of the photo:

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/courtesy of Seth Schachter)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/courtesy of Seth Schachter)

Thanks to alert “06880” readers Bob Grant, Ann Romsky, Tom Leyden and Peter Barlow, the mystery has been solved.

The spire at the far left belongs to Christ Church, consecrated first in 1835 on the northeast corner of Ludlow Street and the Post Road. In 1885 the congregation moved a short way to a new building Burr Street, on land owned by the Nash brothers.

In 1944, Christ Church merged with another Episcopal church — Holy Trinity — which had been on Myrtle Avenue since 1863. That downtown church was — and still is — called Christ and Holy Trinity.

The abandoned Burr Street church was demolished in the late 1940s or early ’50s. Peter Barlow was there — and took a photograph. This afternoon, he sent the image to “06880”:

(Photo/Peter Barlow)

(Photo/Peter Barlow)

Christ Church no longer stands — but God is still there.

After demolition, Assumption Church built a parochial school on the site. It has since closed, but Assumption continues to use the building for various functions.

12 responses to “Christ Church, Revisited

  1. Yes across the street from my house with the timing bells every hour

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. And the land for Christ and Holy Trinity was donated by my great great grandfather Edward Nash.

  3. Cheers for Ann Romsky for pointing out Christ & Holy Trinity Church history! From a parishioner of same!

  4. I assume you’re not saying that THIS church on Burr St. was moved from Ludlow, but that the church goers originally had another smaller place on Ludlow and hence the building of this one on Burr.
    The “northeast corner of Ludlow” was later where the Compo Inn used to be with an incredibly steep driveway from the Post Road (or maybe it just seemed so to a kid). I can guess that there are all kinds of stories to be told about the Compo Inn, some you might not want to print.

  5. Peter, this is really a remarkable and haunting image. Informative too. Thank you for sharing it. And Seth, lest I forget, I continue to be amazed by the historic images in your collection. We are all enriched by your willingness to share them.

  6. Robert Mitchell

    That was a tough time for churches west of the river. The Methodist church was wiped out by I-95 a few years later.

  7. It’s not everyday that a church is demolished rather than renovated, or even moved. Interesting social history.

  8. The lore is that there was Christ church and Holy Trinity church – both Episcopal – one had all the money and one had all the people – tough to sustain both so they decided to merge.

  9. Thank you, Peter Barlow. That is an awesome photo.