37. Congregational Church, Monument Square, 1925. Contributing building.
The present Congregational Church is the fourth to be located on this site and was constructed in 1925, replacing an earlier 1804 building destroyed by fire on October 16, 1923. The church is oriented with its porticoed facade facing Monument Square to the south. Resting on a concrete foundation, the clapboarded church is fronted by granite steps. The projecting portico is supported by four Roman Doric columns which support a modillioned pediment filled with horizontal flushboards and a semi-elliptical fanlight. The pediment displays a full entablature with a plain frieze and two-part architrave. Underneath the porch, the center entrance contains double doors, three panels to a leaf. The entrance is capped by arched transom lights and displays an eared surround. The frieze above the entrance displays a blank central panel with intertwined ovals and diamonds. On either side of the portico there is a single 6/6 window. The side elevations are punctuated by four 12/12 windows with arched transoms. Basement openings contain 8/8 sash. At the rear of the east elevation there is a raised entrance with a six-panel door capped by a semicircular transom sheltered by an open porch consisting of two Roman Doric columns supporting an open gable.
Rising from the front of the roof is a three-stage tower. The lower level consists of a square base with a round window in the front and encircled by a modillion cornice. Resting on the roof is a turned balustrade with paneled corner posts topped by urns. The second stage of the tower consists of an octagonal belfry with arched openings flanked by pilasters. There are raised panels on the angled corners and it is also topped by a balustrade. The octagonal upper stage has louvered arched openings and is capped by a copper roof with weathervane.
To the west of the church is a single-story ell resting on a concrete foundation with a three-bay cross gable at its west end. A double-gabled entrance porch at the midsection is supported by Roman Doric columns with a blind fan in the pediment. On either side of the entrance porch is a 12/6 window. The windows on the west end consist of 6/6 sash. The western addition was constructed in several stages, including additions in 1965 and about 1995.
Correction by C. Hildreth for Church 2002: the preceding paragraph is “old information”
An addition referred to above allowed greater interior space for stairwells interior ramps and elevator for handicap access on the western side of the main section of the church.
Land for the church, the burial ground and the town common was given to the town by Abraham Taylor in 1740. Until the construction of the town hall in 1887 the town offices, church and library were all located in the church building. The present church building was designed by Boston architect Oscar Thayer. The contractor for the building was Osgood Construction Company of Nashua. The first service in the new building was held on April 5, 1925. A 30’ x 50’ wing was added to the building in 1964 and dedicated June 13, 1965.
To the east of the Burial Ground, facing Broad Street, several monuments have been placed in memory of Hollis’ fallen war heroes including the planting of a series of trees. A small bronze plaque at the base of each tree has the name of each soldier and the place of death. There are a total of eight plaques, one of the trees is no longer extant.