|Facing south, the exterior of the Dutch
Reformed Church is dominated by the columnar porch,
which extends outward, matching the full width and
height of the main block behind it.
Resting on a 5-foot podium, four Ionic columns, 37 feet high, support a classically correct entablature and pediment. As Davis explained, the proportions and details were carefully copied from ancient Greek temples, such as the 4th-century B.C. "Temple at Illissos," which Davis knew from Stuart & Revett's Antiquities of Athens (1762-1816).
The walls are constructed of mortared, load-bearing rubble masonry, orginally stuccoed and scored to resemble masonry. The columns and capitals are of wood, painted to resemble stone.
||Davis aimed for simplicity, dignity,
and austere elegance in the exterior design - as shown
in the way the entablataure (bands above the columns)
continue uninterrupted back along the sides, unifying
A noteworthy trademark of Davis' Greek Revival designs is the treatment of the windows as tall, continuous openings from the ground floor almost to the ceiling.
The exterior we see today reflects two significant changes to Davis' original design:
The rooftop originally carried an exterior dome (quite unlike any actual Greek temple). Perhaps due to faulty construction, it was removed five years after consturction (1843).
In 1867-68, the sanctuary was extended northward by 20 feet, with lower transepts on either side.