|Title||Lantern slide transparency: Fire at First Reformed Church, 829-831 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, n.d., circa Dec. 16, 1919.|
|Object Name||Transparency, Lantern Slide|
|Collection||Hoboken Fire Collection|
|Credit||Museum Collections. Gift of a Friend of the Museum.|
Lantern slide transparency: Fire at First Reformed Church, 829-831 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken, no date, probably December 16, 1919.
No photographer or issuer stated. Typical glass mount with paper taped edges. As issued with red cast overlay on image. Labeled in contemporary ink on a mounted label: K of C [Knights of Columbus] Fire 8-9 St. Hoboken '19.
While the Knights of Columbus may have had a building they used nearby that was burned but the location has not been determined. It is not discussed in a fire investigation report that is discussed in notes.
The photographic view is northeast. Seen is a steam pumper engine and a ladder truck of the Hoboken Fire Department. While undated, there is not live fire or steam indicating an active fire, so it is likely that the photo was late in the day on Dec. 15 or more likely on December 16th with a set line.
Church building burned out to the walls during the Admiral Benson Club fire on December 15, 1919. The Club was at 816 Washington street and was where the fire started before spreading to the Church behind it and several nearby apartment buildings.
Admiral Benson Service Club, Hoboken, was operated at 816 Washington Street by the Hoboken Council of The National Catholic War Council as support for servicemen from the Port of Debarkation in Hoboken. It was in operation from late 1918 until it was destroyed by this fire.
The First Reformed Church congregation later sold the church building to the First Church of Christ Scientist, Hoboken, for their use. They renovated it and used it until the end of the 20th C. Purchased by property developers in the 2000s. In 2012-2013 the building was fully renovated and became a condominium apartment building called The Vestry. The exterior changes from that reconstruction were mostly the main entrance and the shape of the roof seen from the side.
Reference image of a postcard view of the original church facade is on file here.
|Year Range from||1919|
|Year Range to||1919|
First Reformed Church
829 Bloomfield St.
831 Bloomfield St.
Admiral Benson Service Club
Hoboken Fire Department
Excerpts about the fire from archives 2007.047.0201.24 : Report: [Fire investigation and response to] Admiral Benson Service Club, (Hoboken), Dec. 15 to Dec. 31, 1919. (see that record for full text of the 8 page document.)
The Benson Service Club on Dec.15th.1919 was totally destroyed by fire, between the hours of 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. the same day.
Position of Club. Built on a lot bounded on the North by an apartment house, four stories and basement and an open yard; on the South by an apartment house four stories and basement, and a Protestant Church, The First Reformed; on the East by Bloomfield St. and on the West by, Washington Ave. [sic] the artery of the city or main street. The Club fronted on this avenue.
The First Reformed Church directly in the rear of apartments 820 and 822 Washington Ave. has but the four walls standing after the fire.