DRC interior 1967
DRC interior 1967

Iron, copper and glass light fixture from the DRC

  Visitors to the Dutch Reformed Church are immediately impressed by the sheer volume of the interior space, spanned by a segmental barrel vault. The space is roughly a double cube: 50 feet wide, 50 feet to the height of the dome, and 100 feet long (now 120 feet after the 1868 addition).

The vault, punctuated by deep square coffers, owes more to Roman than Greek sources, but its height and simplicity create a bold, audacious space. In November 2002, restoration architects John Mesick and Jeff Baker discovered, using laser surveying equipment, that the center of ceiling's radius lies directly on the floor line.

A horseshoe-shaped gallery runs around three sides of the sanctuary, decorated by simple fascia (bands) with Greek moldings copied from 5th-century Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens.

Davis's decorative approach was understated: broad, simple flat surfaces, punctuated occasionally by subtle detailing. This austere look, essential to the Greek Revival style, fit perfectly with the restrained decor traditional in Dutch Calvinist churches.
DRC interior (GP)
DRC interior today

interior to North 1967
Interior to north (1967)
  The window treatments reflect an approach invented by Davis: a single light stretches all the way from sill height almost to the top of the high walls — unifying the surface aesthetically while flooding the interior in light.

Visitors can still appreciate the purity of the original space, despite the boarded-up windows and the unfortunate covering of the front "stage" area in black paint during the building's use as a theater in the 1970s.

Click on the links under the small photos for larger images.
pews, windows 1967
Pews and windows (1970)
  Last updated: July 7, 2012