Saturday January 2, 2010

NEW PRESTON CONNECTICUT – Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church.   Founded 1764 according to the sign in front of the church.  The building was dedicated in 1822.  The brickwork in the steeple is a different color and was painted to match, suggesting a fire or other damage and repairs along the way.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

Sunday November 29, 2009

LITCHFIELD, CONNECTICUT – Back to Litchfield to photograph the First Congregational Church at sunrise.  The congregation first met in 1721.  The story of the building is a bit complex.  Here’s a quote from “Historic Buildings of Connecticut”:

Litchfield’s first meeting house was built on the Green in 1723, the second in 1761 and the third in 1829. In 1873, a fourth church, in the High Victorian Gothic style, was built and the 1829 Federal-style structure, with its steeple removed as was typically done with deconsecrated churches, was moved around the corner. In the coming years it would serve as a community center and theater, known as Amory Hall or Colonial Hall. In the early twentieth century, tastes had shifted back from favoring the Gothic to an interest in the Colonial Revival. In 1929, the Gothic church was demolished and the 1828 church returned to its original site on Torrington Road and restored, complete with a new steeple (1929-30). Reconsecrated, it continues today as the First Congregational Church of Litchfield.”

I’ve taken the liberty of presenting this image in both color and black and white.  The black and white version demonstrates the power of abstraction of this medium.

This images was captured with a Leica M9 digital camera, and a fifty-year old Leitz lens, a 50mm dual range Summicron modified to mount on the M9.  The finished image was stitched together from four overlapping frames, which provides resolution similar to a medium format digital camera or 4×5 film.

The time on the clock on the steeple could either be an hour slow or perpetually 6:30 – it’s actually the latter.

First Congregational Church Litchfield Connecticut
First Congregational Church Litchfield Connecticut
Black and white version
Black and white version

Sunday November 22, 2009

WARREN, CONNECTICUT – The Congregational Meeting House in Warren, Connecticut.  Warren was carved out of Kent Connecticut in the 1780s.

The Warren town website provides the following history: “Warren was settled in 1737 as part of the Town of Kent.  In 1750 a separate ecclesiastical society called the Society of East Greenwich was established and a church was founded in 1756. In 1786 Warren was incorporated as a separate town.
Even though for most of its history Warren has been an agricultural community, by 1810 Warren became known as an educational center with five private schools and an academy which produced 15 ministers and educators.  Over the last two and  a half centuries Warren’s population has fluctuated widely. By 1810 the town’s population had increased to 1100, but with the decline of agriculture and the local iron industry it reached an all-time low in 1930 with only 303 inhabitants.”

Wikipedia furnishes the following information on Warren: “As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,254 people, 497 households, and 353 families residing in the town. The population density was 47.7 people per square mile (18.4/km²). There were 650 housing units at an average density of 24.7/sq mi (9.5/km²).”

Warren, Connecticut
Warren, Connecticut

Saturday November 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, CONNECTICUT – Washington was established by the General Assembly of Connecticut in 1742 as “Judea”. Biblical names are common in Litchfield County – Bethlehem Connecticut is a neighboring town. The Congregational Church in Judea had its first meeting in 1741 in a log shed. A meeting house was subsequently built on the town green, completed in 1784; it was destroyed by fire; the present building was finished in 1800. In the late 17th century the name of the town was changed to Washington. The town cemetery is still named the Judea Hill Cemetery.

This is part of my plan to photograph every church in Litchfield County. I’ve selected an image for today that highlights the meeting house’s neoclassical detailing. I’m continuing to explore the quality of out-of-focus rendering.

Congregational Meeting House, Washington CT
Congregational Meeting House, Washington CT

Saturday November 7, 2009

NEW PRESTON, CONNECTICUT – I’ve decided to photograph all of the churches in Litchfield County, Connecticut, very much working in the shadow of Walker Evans.  The approach is frontal.  You can see a similar esthetic in the “Small Town” images on my landscape gallery, and for that matter in 30 Rock taken on November 6.  This is one of two Congregational churches in New Preston that serve the same parish (the other is the Stone Church). Captured at sunrise.
20091108-L1000416-1 Panorama