Assemblyman Fred Thiele announced this week that he has been informed by the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church on Main Street was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 14 by the federal government.
The National Register is the nation’s official list of properties worthy of preservation. Listing on the National Register recognizes the importance of the church to the history of the country and provides them with a measure of protection. Such properties are eligible to apply for historic preservation matching grants.
The Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1842, although the congregation was formed in the 1660s. Prior to construction of the third church, two smaller “meeting houses” were built in 1686 and 1737.
According to the church website, it took several months for officials to select a building site for the third, larger church. Ultimately, the location’s proximity to The Old Burying Ground and land cost factors most likely influenced the decision-although the cemetery never had a formal relationship with the church.
Most of the construction was completed by mid-December 1842-all within three months. The carefully monitored total cost was $5,493.56. The exterior of the building is highlighted by a steeple cap, which is approximately 14 feet tall and is topped by a weather vane and its orb base, which together add four additional feet. The vane and orb are covered thinly with gold paint.
The church building, parlors and Manse-the minister’s home-are situated on approximately 5 acres. There are eight full-sized Gothic pointed-arch windows in the sanctuary and one full-sized and one shortened window in the entrance. Today, the church is a hub for concerts by the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and the Choral Society of the Hamptons as well as antique fairs and flea markets, meetings of addiction groups and a summer vacation program for local and vacationing children.