Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Built as the Twelfth Street Reformed Church, now the Park Slope Community Church (Baptist)
Address: 251 12th Street
Cross Streets: 4th and 5th Avenues
Neighborhood: South Slope
Year Built: 1869
Architectural Style: Rundbogenstil Romanesque Revival
Architect: Gamaliel King
Other buildings by architect: Brooklyn City (now Borough) Hall, St. Paul’s Church in Cobble Hill, Kings County Savings Bank, Williamsburg (with Wm H. Willcox). Demolished – Kings County Courthouse
The story: In 1840, members of the South Reformed Dutch Church, located in Gowanus, at 43rd and 3rd, met to discuss dividing the church into two different churches, with a new church in the northern part of what was then called South Brooklyn. Among those advocating starting the new church were members of the Bergen and Van Nostrand families. There would be 40 new members splitting off, in all, in an amicable division. They called the new congregation The North Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Gowanus. They bought a plot of land on 3rd Avenue, between 20th and 21st Streets, and built a church. For several years, both shared the same pastor, the Rev. S. M. Woodbridge.
In 1851, the hierarchy of the Reformed Church formally separated the two churches and North Reformed got their own minister. A few years later, in 1856, a yellow fever epidemic struck Brooklyn and decimated the population of the older South Church. Many of them joined North Reformed. They needed a new building. Funds were raised, and the congregation purchased another plot of land, this one on 12th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues. (more…)