The Making of a Gothic Church
"With the rectorship of The Rev. George Flichtner, 1888-1904, the parish moved into the 20th century and St. Paul's ceased to be a rural church in a small village.... The (original) church building had been overcrowded for a long time and Mr. Flichtner was eager to make plans for a new church, one large enough to hold the growing congregation for many years to come. But a parish house was needed even more and the Vestry wisely concentrated on this so that on September 21, 1895 the cornerstone of a parish house was laid. (This was made over years later into the present beautiful chapel.)
"In October 1898, three years after starting the parish house, fifteen members of the congregation petitioned the Vestry to consider building a new church and later the same month an enthusiastic parish meeting was held to discuss this further. With a united parish behind him Mr. Flichtner pressed ahead with plans for the church and on October 22, 1899 the cornerstone was laid by Bishop Starkey.
"Mr. Herbert Turner had been one of the original promoters of the church and his son, Thornton Floyd Turner, was the first child to be baptized in the original church. Since he had become a well known architect, it was appropriate that he be chosen to design both the parish house and the new St. Paul's Church. Mr. Flichtner was a student and admirer of ecclesiastical architecture and his taste and judgment were also very influential in the design of the church. During one summer he went to England and after his return his library was full of photographs and engravings of the English cathedrals which he had visited.
"The church today differs very little from the building that was finished sixty-five years ago. The outside structure has been altered almost none, although the interior has been greatly enriched with beautiful windows and many memorial gifts. The same soft rose and brown limestone that is such a distinctive feature of the older houses of Englewood and that had been used for the original church was procured from a neighboring quarry. Much of the stone in the first church was used again so that the north wall of the present church contains part of the old structure.
"Mr. Flichtner intended the new church to have the dignity and fine proportions of a cathedral. That he succeeded very well is evidenced by the high-domed chancel which forms the head of the cross-shaped building. There are flying buttresses supporting the nave and at the front of the church is the massive tower, twenty-feet square and rising eighty-five feet from the floor of the church. The total cost of the church was $30,000 and it was opened for services on Whitsunday 1900."
Source: St. Paul's Church Englewood, New Jersey 1865-1965...and onward
TEXT BY HELEN V. TAYLOR