Second Congregational Church

The Second Congregational Church

The New Haven Colony sanctioned the establishment of the West Ecclesiastical Society in 1705, granting the new congregation “thirtie acres of land at Horseneck... for the ministrie.” Over time, successively larger churches were constructed culminating with the present one designed by the renowned architect Leopold Eidlitz, and, although initially funded by the church, construction was abundantly subsidized by Robert W. Mead, whose mansion opposite the church had also been designed by Eidlitz.

The cornerstone was laid on October 27, 1856, and the building was dedicated on December 8, 1858, without its iconic tower. Sited 183 feet above sea level, with completion of its spire in 1860 it became the tallest and most prominent landmark on the northern coastline of Long Island Sound between New Haven and New Rochelle—as it still is. The clock was added in 1879 as a gift from Elizabeth Milbank Anderson, about whom we'll learn more later.

Second Congregational Church