First Congregational Church of Plainfield // 1816

Located on Norwich Road in Plainfield, the First Congregational Church of Plainfield stands as one of the oldest extant buildings in Connecticut designed by Ithiel Town (1784-1844), one of the premier architects at the time. The building served as a new meetinghouse (the former was blown down in the Great Gale of 1815) was paid for by a combination of a publicly sanctioned lottery, private subscriptions, and a town-wide tax. Citizens donated not only money but labor, timber, teams of horses or oxen, and stones from their farms. When it was built, it was a secular public building as well as a church, and even after the State Constitution of 1818 disestablished Congregationalism, public meetings continued to be held here.

The Federal period Church features a prominent projecting gabled temple front supported by four columns, and a multistage tower with steeple. The rustic stone construction adds much intrigue to the street. Large wooden quoins frame the three symmetrical entrances with round-arch windows above. The building has been home to the First Congregational Church of Plainfield since a separate town hall was constructed in the 1870s in town.