In January the Wooden Nail Press issued my two most recent books—The Early Religious Architecture of Burlington County
and Steeple Envy
, on the early religious architecture of Morris County. Both are little over 400 pages in length and follow the same coverage as the previous works. In the next three months, three more titles will follow: Essex County, Union County and Cumberland County. To be closely followed by Hudson County. It is not that I have suddenly become more productive, but that the long gestation period (about 5 years) is nearing full-term. Sometimes I hold up a book simply because I'm frustrated in my desire to find the architects for a couple of fine buildings and don't want to release it until I'm satisfied I can do no more. That was the case in Burlington. With the books on Essex and Cumberland I've been more casual about architects—if a diligent effort doesn't yield a name, I'm going to proceed. If I subsequently find a name, that will appear here.
was developed more than eleven years ago by Frank L. Greenagel, and it appears to have won a regular following among preservationists, architectural historians, and even a few church-goers. Greenagel is the author of The
New Jersey Churchscape: Encountering the 18th and 19th Century Churches
published by Rutgers University Press, and another 10 books on the religious architecture of the state.
a couple of decades as a book publisher, he established his own
publishing firm, the Wooden
, largely to bring his work
on the religious architecture of the state to a broader audience.
That began with his book on the old churches of Hunterdon
County (Less Stately Mansions
which was honored by the Hunterdon County Planning Board's annual
later he was
an award by the Somerset County Historic and Cultural Commission
Phillipsburg Area Historic Sites Survey
, a 285 page book supported with funding from the National Parks Service, and recently published Historic Architecture of Phillipsburg
, which for a brief period, was listed as one of the five "hottest" books on architectural history by Amazon. It has since cooled off. Considerably.
One of his recent works is A Brief History of Religious Architecture in New Jersey, 1703-1900
. The emphasis is on the cultural and economic factors that largely shaped the 18th and 19th century churches in the state. Dr. Greenagel has been photographing the churches of New Jersey for the last thirteen years, and lectures often on the topic to historic and preservation groups.
He is the author of the article on religious architecture in the Encyclopedia
of New Jersey
, on religious diversity for Rutgers' Mapping New Jersey
and of an article on Methodist church architecture of the nineteenth century
in New Jersey History
(Spring/Summer 2004). The extended description
and analysis of the religious architecture of Monmouth County (A
) was published in 2009. A study of the old churches
and meetinghouses of Mercer County (Asserting Legitimacy, Maintaining
) was published in 2010, and is available from Amazon.com, as is the book on the The Salem Churchscape
, published in 2012. He expects the work on Essex County, A Mighty Architectural Shout
, to be in print by April 2013. Incidentally, he does have a Facebook page, but there's not much there and he doesn't seem to have a lot of friends.
His activities directing the restoration of a late-colonial manor
in Phillipsburg has occupied him almost full-time until very recently. The Somerset book,
Churches of Somerset County
, was published seven
years ago, the Warren county book, The
and the books on the old churches of Sussex
are all available
His book on photography, Think
Like a Photographer
was published by Mondo Publishing for the school market. He has also created a wiki on
the Roseberry house
in Phillipsburg, which is undergoing restoration. That's very satisfying, but on the whole he'd rather be backpacking in New Mexico, Utah or Colorado and photographing the Anasazi ruins, as you might have guessed from his photo.
He can be
occasionally at (908) 827-1778.
has more-or-less retired as Managing
Director of Guided Learning
, a consultancy on technology-based learning systems
and instructional design. He developed a series of virtual
apprenticeships in adult learning and web competencies in which he worked with clients to make their own seminars more "web-centric." An intensive effort, that went nowhere.
for this site is William P. Woodall, an adjunct faculty member in the Computer Science department at Raritan
Valley Community College. (email@example.com)
: The works rely heavily
on the county histories, published in the 1880s (Snell, Woodward,
Ellis, Cushing, et al
), for dates and other details, in full knowledge that
the data there is
and not infrequently inaccurate. An invaluable corrective is the
local knowledge that our readers bring to us, often with a personal
reminiscence of a connection to the church, or even of a parent or
other ancestor who preached at one or more of the churches. Before
that information is lost to the public record, one of our aims is
to incorporate much of it into the materials we include about each
church. I am still (now eleven years after I began)
learning the kinds of information that would be useful—the
exact address of each church and any published work on the congregation.
on architects and builders is difficult to find—most people
in the nineteenth century paid little attention to those matters,
today congregations and ministers often show relatively little interest
in who was involved in the design
of their church. To whatever small extent I can, this site will
try to remedy that neglect. This website uses
to encompass not only the scale, design, materials
and setting, but the denomination of the original church and their
it includes the architectural, cultural and religious traditions associated
with the church and the region. I accept no advertising
and am not funded by any grants or subsidies. The effort involved
is not the fabled "labor of love" (although it is a considerable
source of satisfaction), but rather an opportunity to make available
a large corpus of material that otherwise might lie unused, and to experiment
with a variety of tools and functions in an attempt to learn how to
use the web to build a broad resource around a rather narrowly-focused
topic. The upshot is that the site may undergo considerable change,
experimentation and adaptation as Bill Woodall and I get feedback and gain experience.