Historical - Image
Historical - Image


Newark Symphony Hall
1020 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey
Box Office: 1030 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey
Box Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10am – 6pm • Saturday 10am – 3pm • (973) 643-8014

Dryden Mansion
59 Lincoln Park
Newark, NJ 07102

2007 marked the complete renovation of the Dryden Mansion, Newark’s most elegant event venue and center for Foundations and Non-Profit Organizations. This exquisite 13,000 sq. ft. historic mansion has been magnificently restored to its former glory and transformed to a four-story office and event venue. It boasts an elegant three floor central winding stair-case, beautiful tiffany inspired stained glass, intricate hand carved molding and fireplaces, lustrous parquet floors, high ceilings and much more. Recognized by the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee the Dryden Mansion offers full amenities to organizations such as conference rooms and full catering facilities.


Lincoln Park

South Park Presbyterian Church
(Source: http://www.newarkhistory.com/southpark.html)
1035 Broad Street and Lincoln Park
Newark, NJ 07102

South Park Presbyterian Church edifice symbolizes the rise, fall, and rebirth of Newark. Born as a church for the affluent descendents of Pilgrims, it became a homeless shelter. Now being renovated, the South Park Presbyterian Church may again serve Newark as a museum, performance space, honoring the achievements of African-Americans.

The South Park Presbyterian Church is one of New Jersey’s finest Greek Revival churches. The church uses a conventional church floor plan, but its grand Nova Scotia limestone façade is unusually well-made.  Its ornamental structures copied from the “Choragic Monument of Lysicrates,” in Athens, Greece. South Park Presbyterian Church

differs from the original choragic monument in that they used Ionic columns, rather than Corinthian ones. Also, the South Park Church’s towers have a second level.

The church was designed by John (not Phillip) Welch, who had already made a name for himself among Newark Presbyterians with his design of the High Street Presbyterian Church. The cornerstone was laid in October 1853 and the church was finished in February 1855. The cost was $27,000.

After the South Park Church Welch designed the orphanage on High Street that is now the administration building for NJIT

The interior of the church was lavish, yet restrained. There was a marble baptism font, a domed ceiling, and columns with gilded capitals. Later on, an organ was installed.

As some readers may know, what is now Lincoln Park was originally called South Park. After the Civil War, many cities named things for the slain president. Newark decided to attach Lincoln’s name to this particular place because on February 21st, 1861 Lincoln had spoken from the steps of the South Park Church.

Despite its well-to-do area, the South Park Church was not the high society church in Newark (neighbor Franklin Murphy was not a member) Indeed, the South Park Church had a reputation for being one of the more political of Newark Presbyterian Churches. South Park members were active in campaigns against horse racing and against alchohol. In the Twentieth century the South Park Church distinguished itself for inviting black ministers to preach.

In March of 1909, the Contemporary Club was founded in the South Park Church. The Contemporary Club was, for many years, Newark’s largest woman’s club. It sponsored campaigns to improve hygiene in the city and build a home for the mentally retarded. It also paid for the city’s Christmas tree.

Over the years, Newark was home to fewer and fewer Presbyterians. The neighborhood of Lincoln Park itself became institutional and then decrepit. After the riots, in 1974, the Presbytery of Newark leased the building to an organization led by J.W. Parrot called the Lighthouse Temple. Although it was a Pentecostal congregation, the Lighthouse Temple was more famous for providing for hundreds of homeless people. The Lighthouse Temple had its own “mall” on the sidewalks of Clinton Avenue where the indigent could browse racks of old clothing. Reverend Parrot bragged that “All you have to say is ‘the church that feeds the poor’ – that’s even better than the address.”

In 1988/1989 the Presbyterian Church of New Jersey found that the old South Park Church was structurally unsound. It reluctantly ordered the Lighthouse Temple out. Reverend Parrot resisted, but eventually an alternative site was found in a former halal slaughterhouse (that in turn, was an old factory). The Lighthouse Temple still exists at 499 Market Street.

The vacant South Park Church did not collapse, but it did burn in a nighttime fire in 1992. After the fire, the Church’s remains were leveled except for its frontal facade.


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