Monson Community Church
19 Greenville Rd., Monson, Maine
+45.28670, -69.5009645°17'12" N, 69°30'03" W
Quadrangle map:Monson West
Criterion A: Social History Criterion C: Architecture Criterion Consideration A: Religious Facility
The Monson Community Church is a unique religious structure that illustrates both physically and organizationally how local houses of worship responded to changing demographic patterns in a small, fairly remote, Maine town. The physical church was formed when two independent congregations, the Congregational Church and the Baptist Church (both with dwindling membership), realized that neither could continue to maintain separate buildings. As such, after years of planning and fund-raising, the 1845 Baptist church was moved several blocks and attached to the 1860 Congregational church in1959. Both buildings feature Greek Revival, and to a lesser extent Italianate, detailing, and while the form of each building remains distinct the union is smooth from a stylistic perspective. Shortly after the move the sanctuary of the Congregational church was divided into two floors, and classrooms, a library and a lounge installed on the first floor and an auditorium and stage created on the second floor. These alterations, as well as a later completion of a basement dining room under the Baptist church, reflects the congregations desire to provide adequate, dedicated space for Sunday School/education – a trend that began in the late 19th century with Akron-plan churches. It also symbolizes the evolving desire to provide for gathering spaces that might be utilized by the larger community. The Monson Community Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the local level of significance, as a property that reflects the evolving social and cultural history of this rural town. It also achieves local significance for the manner in which, by uniting the two buildings, the congregations were able to develop a modern and progressive building that met the programmatic requirements of both churches.
- December 5, 2014: New Street View added by Brian Bartlett
- December 17, 2013: Added by Brian Bartlett