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Bridgeport Free Church

76, Bloomingdale, City of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/01/28

Of note is the sign identifying the Bridgeport Free Church and Cemetery.; Paul Dubniak, 2008.
Bridgeport Free Church and Cemetery, 2008
Of note is the symmetrical facade.; Paul Dubniak, 2008.
Facade, Bridgeport Free Church, 2008
Of note is the close proximity of the graves to the church.; Paul Dubniak, 2008.
Landscape, Bridgeport Free Church and Cemetery

Other Name(s)

Bridgeport Free Church
76 Bloomingdale Road

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1848/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/12/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bridgeport Free Church, located at 76 Bloomingdale Road, is on the south side of Bloomingdale Road, east of Prince Street East in the City of Kitchener. The one storey brick church and surrounding graveyard was established in 1848.

The property was designated by the City of Kitchener in 1980 for its heritage value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 80-21-P).

Heritage Value

The Bridgeport Free Church is associated with all Christian denominations in Bridgeport and is believed to be the second oldest church in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. The land was sold to the trustees by John U. Tyson in 1848 for the purpose of establishing a Free Meeting House as a place of worship and burial ground for all denominations. Tyson, an early settler in the area, emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1833 and gave Bridgeport its name after having laid out the village on the east side of the Grand River. Prior to 1861, the Lutherans in the community did not have a place of worship and, therefore, held their services in the Free Church.

The Bridgeport Free Church is a good representation of the Georgian style evident by the attention given to symmetry in its design and situation. The symmetry of the church itself is shown by the central facade entrance and flanking windows. The building possesses simplistic wood detailing and its double brick walls are constructed in the English Bond pattern typical of early Georgian construction in Canada. The sombre style of the church was, at the time, a reassurance to those who found comfort in their unique place of worship.

The cemetery reflects the symmetry of the building itself. Gravestones appear exactly ten paces from the east and west elevations and exactly five paces from the south elevation.

Sources: City of Kitchener By-law 80-21-P; Diane Kolaritsch, Free Church Property Assessment, 1984; Franklin Kains, Recommendation for Designation 1979.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Bridgeport Free Church include its:
- historical plaque
- cemetery sign
- one storey red brick exterior
- gable roof
- fieldstone foundation
- symmetrical facade
- return eaves
- simple wood detailing
- prominent interior window mouldings
- double brick walls
- English Bond pattern
- building's situation in relation to gravestones

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Ontario

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date

1980/01/28

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kitchener Heritage Planning City Hall, P.O. Box 1118 200 King Street West Kitchener, Ontario N2G4G7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

HPON09-0090

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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