You are here
Baptist Church (Allendale Schoolhouse and Community Hall)
Zachariah Allen originally commissioned this building as a combined Sunday school and community meeting hall, with a library projected for the basement. Such multipurpose meeting halls in mill towns were also used for church meetings on Sunday; here the church took over as early as 1850. The exceptional nature of a Rhode Island schoolhouse–meeting hall in the Tudor period style then designated as “Elizabethan” resulted from an English trip during which Allen's fancy was taken by such a building. The trip doubtless also inspired Allendale's Gothic Revival houses as well. Tefft used some such source as the “Elizabethan” design number 4 in H. E. Kendall's Designs for Schools and School Houses (1847) as his model, possibly by way of his friend and mentor, Henry Barnard, with whom he collaborated as designer. Barnard's Reports and Documents Relating to Public Schools in Rhode Island for 1848 (published in 1849) includes Tefft's Allendale schoolhouse with the comment that its novel style afforded relief from “the dull monotony of wretched perversions which characterize the village and country schoolhouses of New England.” Influential as Barnard's practical ideas on schoolhouses may have been, however, his encouragement of more stylistic diversity in their exteriors
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.