The St. Peter’s German Evangelical Church at Kreischerville (now Free Magyar Reformed Church) church complex–church, parish house, and rectory–recalls the era when Charleston was known as Kreischerville, as well as the early twentieth-century period when Hungarian immigrants maintained the separate identity of the small village. Erected in 1883 as the gift of local industrialist Balthasar Kreischer, the church reflects the paternalistic role that industrialists often played in the development of quasi-company towns such as Kreischerville.
Though characteristic of the small, wood-framed structures built in the villages of Staten Island and elsewhere, the Carpenter Gothic church, probably designed and built by local craftsmen, is distinguished by its unusual porch that is domestic in scale and form, and by the emphasis on verticality provided by the tall spire and rows of small gabled dormers in the steeply pitched gable roof. The attached parish hall, an early addition to the church, and the rectory, designed by builder/architect Royal Daggett and built in 1926 by the Hungarian congregation, complete the complex, which is enclosed by a distinctive fence with posts of Kreischer brick.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
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