“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Orleans in Orleans Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)

First Presbyterian Church

American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site

First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
February 17, 2018
1. First Presbyterian Church Marker
Organized 1817.

The first pastor (1818-1820), the Rev. Sylvester Larned, built a church in 1819 in the plain Gothic Style on St. Charles Street near Gravier Street, William Brand, Architect-Builder.

A Greek Revival style church was erected 1834-1835 on Lafayette Square, its design attributed to George Clarkson, Architect.

It burned in 1854 and was replaced (1855-1857) by a splendid Gothic Revival church designed by Henry Howard, Architect and built by George Purves.

The noted clergyman, The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Morgan Palmer, was its pastor from 1856 until his death in 1902.

The church was dismantled in 1938 to provide a site for a Federal Building. The congregation moved to this South Claiborne Avenue site, and the church and adjacent Palmer Hall were dedicated on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939. The architects, Sam Stone, Jr. and Douglas V. Feret, incorporated in the sanctuary some elements from the old church.

The bell in the tower was cast in 1856, and from the Lafayette Square Church gave the curfew signal at the time of the Federal occupation of New Orleans during the Civil War.
First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
February 17, 2018
2. First Presbyterian Church Marker
1985 by Orleans Parish Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number 313.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the American Presbyterian and Reformed Historic Sites marker series.
Location. 29° 56.518′ N, 90° 6.579′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. Marker is at the intersection of South Claiborne Avenue (U.S. 90) and Jefferson Avenue, on the right when traveling north on South Claiborne Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5401 South Claiborne Avenue, New Orleans LA 70125, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor (approx. ¼ mile away); Tulane Stadium (approx. 0.4 miles away); Newcomb Pottery Garden (approx. 0.7 miles away); H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College (approx. ¾ mile away); St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); Gilbert Academy and New Orleans University (approx. one mile away); Academy of the Sacred Heart (approx. 1.1 miles away); Mater Dolorosa Church (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Orleans.
Regarding First Presbyterian Church. The First Presbyterian Church is one of 445 American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Sites registered between 1973 and 2003 by the Presbyterian Historical Society
<i>...Showing City Hall, Soules College and First Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, LA.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1935
3. ...Showing City Hall, Soules College and First Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, LA.
View of Lafayette Square showing First Presbyterian Church before relocation.
(PHS), headquartered in Philadelphia. Approved sites received a metal plaque featuring John Calvin’s seal and the site’s registry number (PHS marker location unknown).

The following text is taken from the Presbyterian Historical Society website:

The First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, organized in 1823, was the second Protestant church organized in the city. The first two church buildings were destroyed by fires, and after changes in the neighborhood, the congregation ended up at its current location uptown in 1938. The new buildings incorporated several features of the downtown church, including the organ, bells, pews, the millwork in the rear choir loft, and most of the stained glass windows. The congregation dedicated the sanctuary and education building in 1939, and added a second education building in 1985. The entire complex sustained extensive interior damage from Hurricane Katrina flooding in 2005.
Categories. ArchitectureChurches & Religion
<i>FRONT ELEVATION (NORTH) - First Presbyterian Church, South Street, New Orleans</i> image. Click for full size.
Robert Koch (Historic American Buildings Survey), 1938
4. FRONT ELEVATION (NORTH) - First Presbyterian Church, South Street, New Orleans
Significance: The present owner of the site is the Government of the United States, which acquired it with the building thereon in 1938, for the erection of the present Federal Building. The vendor was the Corporation of the First Presbyterian Church, by whom the site had been owned continuously since 1835. An earlier church was built on this site by the same Congregation in 1835, destroyed by fire in 1854, and rebuilt in 1857. This building was damaged by the hurricane of 1915, and repaired at a cost of $100,000. It was demolished in April and May 1938. - Historic American Buildings Survey

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Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 19, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 135 times since then and 28 times this year. Last updated on August 15, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 19, 2018. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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