GPT017-01.jpg (82802 bytes) New York Architecture Images-  Greenpoint Brooklyn

Greenpoint Reformed Church /originally Thomas C. Smith House


Thomas C. Smith.


138 Milton St. S side.




Italianate Greek Revival  


House  Church







Italianate Greek Revival (those warring peoples could combine in style on occasion). Before 1891 this congregation resided at what is now St. Elias Church, two blocks north on Kent Street.  

Through the 90's I lived in the 2nd floor because my wife was the 
minister of the church. Anyhow, most of the interesting architectural 
details have been lost over the years, except for a grand fireplace 
in what was probably the dining room.

The house was originally built for Thomas Smith, owner of the Union 
Porcelain Works. His foundry is notable for its "century vases" which 
exist in the permanant collection of many museums, including The Met:  . 
There is one unintentionally 
interesting detail left from the original house: over the years, as 
the concrete floor in the basement has worn down, the aggregate has 
become exposed in places.

It seems, that to economize, he used damaged or seconded ceramic door 
knobs from his factory as the aggregate in his concrete. So now, many 
antique doorknobs are showing through the floor. The building also 
housed the Greenpoint YWCA for a time before the Greenpoint Reformed 
Church purchased the building in 1942.

With special thanks to Shelby Gragg

Centennial Vase, 1877
Made by Karl L. H. Müller (ca. 1820–1887)
Made in Mid-Atlantic, Brooklyn, New York, America
Porcelain; 12 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (32.4 x 26.0 cm)
Friends of the American Wing Fund, 1987 (1987.12)

The sculptor Karl Müller designed a number of works for the Union Porcelain Works display at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Among his most notable were a pair of large Century vases, each covered with a profusion of historical scenes and novel combinations of patriotic motifs in relief. Identical in form and relief decoration to the Century vases, this vase is about ten inches smaller and is one of about twelve known in this size. North American bison heads serve as handles; a profile portrait of George Washington embellishes each side; and each of the six biscuit-relief panels around the base depicts a different scene from American history. It is unique in being the sole version that bears the designer's signature. The museum owns a pair of small Centennial vases (69.194.1,2) and a large-size undecorated example.


  with thanks to "The AIA Guide to New York",