You are here

First Presbyterian Church

-A A +A
1883–1884. 118 W. Commerce St.
  • First Presbyterian Church (W. Barksdale Maynard)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

The original Duck Creek Presbyterian Church (1733, abandoned 1846) was located at today's Holy Hill Cemetery on Lake Como, where a historical marker was erected in 2003. A primitive painting (discovered in a Michigan attic in 1961) shows that it had a jerkinhead roof, like several early Delaware churches. In the nineteenth century, the congregation moved into town, building a church that was later turned over to Methodists and that burned in 1996. The present simple Gothic Revival edifice of green serpentine (with a hundred-foot broach spire rising from an attached tower) was erected on busy Commerce Street, the form of its facade emulating that of the much larger Asbury Methodist (KT6) nearby. Brick was used as trim. There were never any buttresses (unlike the serpentine St. Anne's, LN16), as neighboring buildings pressed close on both sides. The interior is little changed, with original pews, hammerbeam ceiling, and stained glass that predates the fashion for opalescent glass in the 1890s. Its grisaille stenciling is faded, but it remains a valuable survival. The organ of 1904 no longer works, but the painted pipes are preserved.


Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "First Presbyterian Church", [Smyrna, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 228-228.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.