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First United Methodist Church

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1844. 1845, steeple. 20th century, interior altered and entrance added. 27 Church St.

This Greek Revival structure is the church of Church Street. As with the town hall, nothing is elegantly detailed here; but the three-story Doric portico is impressively scaled, and so is the steeple. The portico lifts its pediment over a “basement” for Sunday school and parish activities plus the two-story height of the elevated sanctuary. The front is flushboarded and the other walls are clapboarded. Rising behind the pediment is a four-stage tower, three of the stages framed by variations on the corner pier motif, rising to a diminutive glazed octagon ringed with more piers that forms the base for a needlelike spire. The tower is too attenuated for the portico below, and its telescoping from stage to stage too abrupt. As the tallest thing in Warren, however, even today it serves as a landmark for sailors. The adjacent early Victorian house, bracketed handsomely, was built as the parsonage (1858) by the local building firm of Hoar and Martin.

Where crosswalks converge at the center of the little park running between State and Church streets that fronts on the Methodist Church is a nice piece of post–Civil War provincial geometry honoring the dead of all wars. A rough-faced base shaped with a fortification's redoubts at all corners steps back to a smoothfaced echoing shape, cornered by cannonballs, then steps back again to an upended block, atop which a very paunchy bronze cannon stands on end, its rotundity at the base tapering as it rises.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "First United Methodist Church", [Warren, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 460-461.

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