01.05.2016 1794 Meetinghouse

I don’t often photograph structures but there have been a few days lately when I have done just that.  This is the first of a couple.

The 1794 Meetinghouse is the former First Church of New Salem, MA.  As other churches were built in the town, this building saw fewer services and ceased that function over a century and half in the past.  Civic functions have been the main use after the church and most recently it has become a Center for the Performing Arts.  If you would like to know more about the center you can read here.

A few minutes after shooting the view looking south over the Quabbin Valley that you saw a few days ago, I was driving through New Salem and noticed these beautiful clouds sailing across the sky over the Center.  I was fortunate to have driven by at just the right moment as the light faded within minutes of this shot.



About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Landscape, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 01.05.2016 1794 Meetinghouse

  1. Andrew says:

    Perfect timing Steve. We’ve had a few similar skies here but they too have lasted only about 5-10 minutes. Good to see this different aspect of your art.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Faith says:

    Beautiful shot Steve. I was up there about a month ago then drove down behind to view Quabbin from that perspective which I had never before seen. It was beautiful & amazing to see the massive expanse of our fav reservoir. But if the brush below that lookout isn’t trimmed back, it will, too soon, be lost from view.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Which spot do you mean, Faith? The one on Lovers Lane, the fire house or Route 202? All need a trim for sure, but I think 202 is the most likely as that gets cut back every few years or so.


  3. neihtn2012 says:

    That background is really striking!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres says:

    It’s always fun to discover that the so-called “iconic views” of New England featured on calendars exist in reality. Having the wind vane atop the steeple’s a nice touch; between that and the rising light, it’s easy to imagine the clouds’ movement.

    I enjoyed the article, too. This intrigued me: “The most dramatic alteration took place in 1837, when the building, which faced north, was lifted up and rotated one-quarter to the east, while there were architectural changes associated with the Greek Revival style and changing theological concepts.” I can imagine some of the meetings behind all that.

    The building looks much like rural country churches in parts of Texas, but there are differences as well as similarities. The most obvious difference is that most country churches in this area have the door in the middle, with a window on either side. The windows in this meeting house remind me of Christopher Wren’s parish churches in London.

    It’s such an inviting photo. It would be fun to visit the place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Moving building has always intrigued me. So much planning and care required. At least in this case they didn’t have to go far, but I would think turning to be a challenge because of the foundation.
      Most churches here have a single door in the center and this is a little unusual. I guess exit and entrance is one explanation.
      I have yet to go there for a performance which is something I should correct. I’ll have to check the schedule. A friend had a recital there years ago which I found out about weeks after the fact.


  5. Gallivanta says:

    Fortunate for you and fortunate for us as well. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ann. I’ll try to do more churches etc. in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gallivanta says:

        It will be interesting to see them. Many of the churches in our area are gone because of earthquake damage, but I have taken photographs of a couple of favourites. I don’t know if you follow Maureen Sudlow but she has done some interesting posts on NZ churches. http://kiwis-soar.com/2015/11/03/st-johns-church-te-awamutu/ I like looking at the different styles in different countries. Of course we don’t have any buildings as old as yours.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I sometimes feel a bit hypocritical in my appreciation for churches’ beauty since I am not a person of any religious conviction. But I find the older church structure to be quite well designed artistically and with much more character than today’s architecture. I do also appreciate what their place was in society and don’t necessarily disagree with that position, although…well, let’s not get too deep into religion. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gallivanta says:

        Let’s not! But we are in an interesting phase in this city with churches. Some not being rebuilt at all, and others being replaced with modern structures. I am wondering how these new churches will age. Certainly some of the old churches which were demolished were incredibly ugly, so no loss architecturally. Will we still like these new churches 100 years from now?

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s an interesting question as what we now appreciate may have been looked at with the same doubts 100 years ago. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gallivanta says:

        Yes, I expect so.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s nice that the historic building hasn’t been surrounded by modern artifacts. The lucky circumstance allowed the nice shot. Imagine how the image would look with bike racks and cars in the foreground. The result is that the images comes across as having been taken 100 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I went backwards from the following picture. In this one I like the colors of the sky, of course, and the way the snow-covered ground picks up some of the sky blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Really beautiful. An illuminating scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow~you can practically hear the angels sing, can’t you? This is a great example of opportunity meeting preparedness and great skill!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: 11.04.2016 1794 Meetinghouse with the setting Full Hunters Moon. | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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