Building Description Plymouth Church, Brooklyn New York
Plymouth Church is noted for its simplicity of plan, and its straight forward architecture in the later Colonial style just before the Victorian Era. The church proper is a building about 114 feet by 60 feet, and about 60 feet high. Its front and rear hallways, extending across the entire width give easy access to the auditorium and also to the four sets of stairs to the balcony. Additional stairs in the southwest and southeast corners gave the colored people entrance to the top gallery. The arrangement of the pews gives full view of the pulpit and the choir.
The acoustics of the church are exceptionally good, as even a whispered word can be heard in any part of the auditorium, balcony, or gallery.
The auditorium pews are arranged on a slightly sloping floor in a circular manner near the pulpit, and gradually straightening out as they approach the entrance of the building. The balcony pews follow a rectangular plan, and are rounded at the corners of the rectangle. These pews are built on steps, so as to give full view at all times of the pulpit.
The organ over the pulpit is of polished walnut, and of a massive design, and is crowned with gilded pipes and trumpets. Its dark color, and the mahogany top-rails of the pews, are in marked contrast to the light buff walls and cream colored woodwork.
Certain improvements have been made in the building. Electric lights have been installed; the rear stairs have been replaced with stairs of fireproof material; and metal doors have replaced all of the old wood doors to the auditorium. Stained-glass memorial windows depicting subjects of interest in church history were added in 1907 by the Rev. N. D. Hilles.
A memorial gallery, or arcade, connecting the church with the Institute was donated by John Arbuckle, and erected in 1903. The older church buildings, in which Sunday School classes and lectures were held during Beecher's pastorate, burned down in 1925, and have not been restored, although the boiler room under these buildings is still used to heat the main church.