Tag: Exploring Ridgewood NJ

Old Paramus Reformed Church               660 East Glen Avenue                   Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Old Paramus Reformed Church 660 East Glen Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Old Paramus Reformed Church

660 East Glen Avenue

Ridgewood, NJ  07450

(201) 444-5933

http://www.oldparamus.org/

http://oldparamus.org/home

https://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/ridgewood_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

Open: Please check the website for full hours

 

During the Christmas holiday season I was so busy that I was not able to visit my local church. So when I was able to celebrate the Epiphany,  I visited the Old Dutch Reformed Church in Ridgewood, NJ. The Church is one of the oldest in both Bergen County, NJ and the State of New Jersey. It is especially beautiful during the holidays.

 

Paramus Reformed Church III

The entrance to the Old Paramus Reformed Church

It really was a nice service with music, the choir singing Christmas hymns and a bell service. It reminded me of my years at the Dutch Reformed Church in Woodstock, NY when I celebrated Christmas there. The whole church was decorated in holly and garland with Christmas trees in the corners and white candles lit in the corner.

 

Paramus Reformed Church

The Inside of the Old Paramus Reformed Church for the holidays

What I liked after the service was over was that everyone walked up to me to greet me. I was one of the younger people in the church and I guess that they were happy to see some young blood.

The services there are very nice and I thought the church with its wooden benches and older architecture made the service even more special. It was a combination of the decoration, the music, the songs and the friendliness of the congregation that made the last day of the 12 Days of Christmas special for me.

I had also been to the church a few years prior for a private cemetery walk through the back part of the church looking at the old tombstones, The church is the burial place of many of Bergen County’s original settlers so the headstones are very old. Some of the tombstones were made of sandstone and the other of shale. Many had not survived the weather after all these years.

Paramus Reformed Church IV

The cemetery at the Old Paramus Reformed Church is an interesting place

The interesting part of the pre-Halloween walk was that the tour guide from the Ridgewood Historical Society told us the reason the cemetery was shaped the way it was today. The cemetery was placed around the original church and when the new church was built in 1800, the newer part of the cemetery was created. It is interesting to walk amongst the graves and look at all the names of the original families of Bergen County that included the Harings, Zabriske’s, Terhune’s, Bauvelt’s, Van Ripper’s and Demarest’s.

If you get a chance to tour the church or the grounds you will know the reason why this is such a special church. Maybe it was the church’s rich history in Bergen County.

Paramus Reformed Church II

 

The History of the Old Paramus Reformed Church of Ridgewood, NJ:

The Old Paramus Reformed Church has a rich past. The congregation was formed in the year 1725. During the American Revolution, the Paramus Church was the site of  a Continental Army military post for four years during which clashes between American and British forces tool place. It was also in the original church building that  General George Washington held a session of the court-martial of General Charles Lee who disobeyed order at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.  Washington had his headquarters here at the church a total of ten times during various days from 1778-1780.

Other noted Revolutionary War figures such as Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, Anthony Wayne, Richard Henry Lee and Aaron Burr also were here from time to time during the war. From early colonial times, slaves were members of the church congregation, the upper galleries on both sides being designed for their use during services.

The present church building was built in 1800. An interesting feature is that the pews are numbered. The members of earlier days rented them on an annual basis. The most expensive were numbers 50-57 at $52.00 per year while the least expensive were numbers 38-100 at $4.00 per year> Needless to say, the less expensive pews are at the rear of the sanctuary.

On each side of the pulpit, there are three pews placed at right angles to the rest of the pews in the church. These were reserved for the Elders and Deacons (on the left and right respectively). These persons collectively are known as the Consistory, which is the governing board of the church. It was their duty to sit in these pews each Sabbath with their Bibles and copies of the day’s sermons to check on the “Domine” as to his conduct of the service as well as sticking to his sermon!

That tradition (as to seating) was kept alive for many years in Old Paramus by members of the Consistory who sat in the first pew facing the pulpit each Sunday. The only similar practice in use today is that the Elders serving Communion sit in the first rows on either side of the center aisle.

The decorated organ pipes in the rear of the chancel (choir loft) behind the pulpit date back to 1892. In that year, they were installed when the church received the gift of a new organ from a congregation member.

Paramus Reformed Church VI

The inside of the Old Paramus Reformed Church

At the top of the arch the pulpit, there is a Dove of Peace. The dove is made of wood and is hand-carved. The exact date of origin of the dove is unknown. One authority claims that, “The bird is an eagle and was a donation by Dr. Garrett D. Banta in 1800.” Records from the Consistory minutes read: 1874, August 3rd: Resolved that the Consistory thankfully recognize the kindness of Mrs. Catherine Wessella for repairing and regilding the Dove, which has been a part of the decoration of the old church.

There are three flags on the pulpit-the American flag, the Christian flag and the flag of The Netherlands, the last representing our Dutch heritage. In a similar vein, for many years the Dutch flag was flown under the American flag on the staff in front of the church. Today only the American flag is flown on the flag pole.

There are several plaques on the inside walls of the church. Some honor the ministers and others honor the various Consistories since 1725. Another just inside the front door notes that this church has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In display cases you will find various bits of memorabilia concerning our history.

When attending Old Paramus Reformed Church, you will have come to a warm and comfortable historic church to your whole being.

On the church campus, you will find modern Educational Building which houses the church offices and facilities need for Christian nurture. Another building is the one-room church like schoolhouse. This building houses the Ridgewood Historical and Preservation Society and is known as The Schoolhouse Museum. It was built in 1872 and was used as a school until 1905. It contains many items of historical note to this area. Make it a point to visit this museum during visiting hours. You should find it to be a very interesting and reward visit.

So what kind of church is Old Paramus Reformed Church? It is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, the oldest Protestant denomination with a continuous ministry in America. The first church was established in New York City, then known as New Amsterdam in 1628. The Collegiate Churches presently represent the origins of that original Congregational. The best known is Marble Collegiate Church, which is where Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was the minister for fifty-two years. The Reformed Church in America (RCA) is an historic denomination coming out of the Reformation when the Church was “re-formed” and re-organized according to the teachings of the Word of God, the Bible. The Reformed Church of is Biblical in doctrine, semi-liturgical in worship. Presbyterian in government and evangelical in practice.

This year, Old Paramus Reformed Church celebrates 295 years of God’s Loving Spirit. Come join us next Sunday at 10:00am. We would be most happy to see you and you will surely feel rewarded for the experience.

(Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Church’s history and I give them full credit for the information).

 

 

The James Rose Center 506 East Ridgewood Avenue  Ridgewood, NJ 07450

The James Rose Center 506 East Ridgewood Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

The James Rose Center

506 East Ridgewood Avenue

Ridgewood, NJ  07450

Phone: (201) 446-6017

Email: http://www.jamesrosecenter.org

Fee: Adults $8.00/Children $5.00

Open: Tuesday-Sunday-10:00am-4:00pm/Closed Mondays

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46772-d15190166-Reviews-James_Rose_Center-Ridgewood_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Originally designed as his own home, today the James Rose Center serves as the headquarters of a non-profit educational foundation, the mission of which is to improve the environment through research, education, preservation and design.

I recently toured the James Rose House with members of the Ridgewood Historical Museum. We had a lecture on the house and James Rose’s work in the industry as an architect and the other projects he had worked on over the years before his death in 1991.

The lecture was followed by a tour of the house with the group and then a small lecture and tour with the guide. We got to see the whole house, what he was trying to achieve in the design and the renovation work on the house as it is in pretty bad shape. The materials that were used to build the house were not the best quality and have rotted over the years. There is a lot of restoration work on the house that is needed.

We were able to walk all around the house and what struck me was the use of nature in the design of the house. He used the trees and brook on the property to achieve the aesthetic of the design of the house but over the years it has been used against it as the trees have either grown too big around the house or have died, in which one did and caused thousands of dollars of damage on the house. Still, it was an interesting tour of how the house was used as a studio and a family home for him, his mother and unmarried sister.

History:

James Rose (1913-1991) was a maverick landscape architect whose rebellious nature caused one writer to refer him as the “James Dean of Landscape Architecture.” Here Rose created a unique work of art fusing modern sculpture, architecture and landscape into a single unified place for living.

(Information from the Center’s pamphlet)

For its unique modern sparial language, its expression of an alternative approach to conventional post war suburban residential development and as the constantly changing laboratory of one of landscape architecture’s most inventive minds, the Ridgewood home of James Rose is one of the twentieth century’s most important landscapes.

The Vision:

Rose began  the design while in Okinawa during World War II with a model he made from scrapes found in construction battalion headquarters. “I wanted the spaces flowing easily from one to another, divided for privacy and for convenience.” Rose wrote in 1943. “I wanted the arrangement flexible and varied. Most of all, I wanted all this integrated with the site in a design that seemed to grow, to mature and to review itself as all living things do.”

The Reality:

Constructed in 1953, Rose described his home as a “tiny village” build on an area half the size of a tennis court. It was a composite of three buildings-a main house for his mother, a guesthouse for his sister and a studio for himself. This experimental landscape achieves a fusion of indoors and outdoors perhaps unequaled by other leading designers of this time. Rose later described it as “neither landscape nor architecture, but both; neither indoors, nor outdoors but both.”

The Metamorphosis:

It was conceived to accommodate rapid twentieth century charge. “I decided to go at the construction as you might a painting or sculpture.” Rose wrote. “I set the basic armature of walls and roofs and open spaces to establish their relationships but left it free in detail to allow for improvisation. In that way it would never be “finished,” but constantly evolving from one stage to the next-ametamorphosis,” Rose wrote, “such as we find commonly in nature.”

Consistent with this, the design changed dramatically during the almost forty years Rose lived here. From 1961, when Rose was invited by the Japanese government to participate in a World Design Conference (WoDeCo), he founded a mirror to his modern American design sensibility in the ancient culture of Japan. In changes such as the addition of the roof garden and zendo in the early 1970’s a fusion of ancient East and modern West is effected as Rose compares the filigrees of plant forms to the filigrees of structure. “In the bare architectured outline is a pattern of organic (rather than cosmetic) decoration and an inter division of space.”

The Reincarnation:

Unfortunately in the eighties this remarkable design, built to accommodate rapid growth went into rapid disrepair. Neglect, fire and water damage threatened complete destruction until a foundation was established by Rose, Dean Cardasis and a few of Rose’s close friends was formed just before Rose’s death in 1991. In 1993 the rehabilitation of this important property began and continues to this day. The site serves students, scholars and the general public in its new life as the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design.

The rehabilitation reversed rampant deterioration of the previous decade. Support systems were revamped.  Fire damage was repaired. The leaking roof was rebuilt and Rose’s roof garden was reconstructed. Salvageable wood was reconditioned and woven with new lumber. Garden pools were rebuilt and important planting edges re-established. Murals and other original artwork were reconditioned. Through the center’s ongoing efforts, Rose’s enduring creation has entered a new stage of its metamorphosis from which it will continue to evolve. But it remains consistent with its origins as a important modern work and serves the same larger purpose it always had for Rose to pose for us elemental questions about the nature of design. “Change is the essence,” Rose observed. “To reveal what is always there is the trick. The metamorphosis is seen minute by minute, season by season, year by year. Through this looking glass, ‘finish’ is another word for death.”

(Ridgewood-James Rose Center History)

James Rose, landscape theorist, author and practitioner

Along with Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley, James C. Rose was one of the leaders of the modern movement in American landscape architecture. Rose was only five years old when his father died and with his mother and older sister, moved to New York City from rural Pennsylvania. He never graduated from high school (because he refused to take music and mechanical drafting) but nevertheless managed to enroll in architecture courses at Cornell University. A few years later he transferred as a special student to Harvard University to study landscape architecture. He was soon expelled from Harvard in 1937 for refusing to design landscapes in the Beaux Arts manner.

The design experiments for which he was expelled served as a basis for a series of provocative articles expounding modernism in landscape design, published in 1938 and 1939 in Pencil Points magazine (now Progressive Architecture). Subsequently Rose authored many other articles, including a series with Eckbo and Kiley as well as four books which advance both the theory and practice of landscape architecture in the twentieth century.

Rose was employed briefly in New York City in 1941 as a landscape architecture by Tuttle, Seelye, Place and Raymond where he worked on the design of a staging area to house thirty thousand men to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. For a short time, Rose had a sizable practice of his own in New York City but he quickly decided that large-scale public and corporate work would impose too many restrictions on his creative freedom and devoted most of his post WWII career to the design of private gardens.

Fusion of indoor and outdoor space:

In 1953, he began building one of his most significant designs, the Rose residence in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Rose conceived of the design while stationed in Okinawa, Japan in 1943. He made the first model from scraps found in construction battalion headquarters. After construction, the design was published in the December 1954 issue of Progressive Architecture, juxtaposed to the design for a traditional Japanese house built in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the article cites Rose’s design for its spatial discipline. The design clearly expresses Rose’s idea of fusion between indoor and outdoor space as well as his notion that modern environmental design must be flexible between indoor and outdoor space as well as his notion that modern environmental design must be flexible to allow for changes in the environment as well as in the  in the lives of its users.

Practice based on improvisation:

From 1953 until his death, Rose based an active professional practice in his home. Like Thomas Church and many others. Rose practiced a form of design/build because it gave him control over the finished work and allowed him to spontaneously improvise with the sites of his gardens. As a result of this, most examples also exist in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, California and abroad.

Establishment of a landscape research and design study center:

James C. Rose was one of the most colorful figures in twentieth century landscape design. While skeptical of most institutions during his lifetime he served as guest lecturer and visiting critic at numerous landscape architecture and architecture schools. Before he died he set in motion an idea which had been in his mind for forty years; the establishment of a landscape research and design study center and created a foundation to support the transformation of his Ridgewood residence for this purpose. Rose died in his home in 1991 of cancer.

(James Rose Foundation-James Rose Center)

 

Ridgewood Arts Council Ridgewood, NJ 07451

Ridgewood Arts Council Ridgewood, NJ 07451

Ridgewood Arts Council

P.O. Box 183

Ridgewood, NJ  07451

The Ridgewood Arts Council recently came to talk to my Support Group that is based in Ridgewood, NJ and went over the different programs that they sponsor. This is more information on the organization.

The mission of The Ridgewood Arts Council (RAC) is to support and promote the vital role all arts play in our lives, the lives of our children and in our community at large.

Accomplishments: In its first year as a volunteer organization formed by the Village Council, the RAC has established a website, an online interactive community arts calendar and a permanent art installation entitled Ridgewood Art at Village Hall.

Future Goals: Endeavors of the RAC for the future include supporting existing arts organizations and events throughout Ridgewood, hosting our own unique arts-related programs and instituting an ongoing scholarship program for Ridgewood students involved with the arts.

Support Needed: No organization such as the RAC can be sustained without the hard work of volunteers and we welcome your involvement. The Ridgewood Arts Foundation, an independent New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation with 501 (c) (3) tax status, has been formed to assist in the promotion of the arts in Ridgewood through the use of private donations. To join the Ridgewood Arts Council (program arm) or to become a trustee of the Ridgewood Arts Foundation (fund-raising arm), please email rac@ridgewoodnj.net.

Disclaimer: This information was take directly from the Ridgewood Arts Council handout and for more information on the organization, please check their email site or Google the organization.