|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.
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.
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