52 Main Street (east side)

The Methodist Episcopal Church/Grange is situated on the corner of Main Street and Fowler Avenue on a small lot and lies directly across from the Town Hall.

  • Record ID: 107
  • Address: 52 Main Street (east side)
  • Current Owner: Durham Grange,
  • Name of Building: The Grange
  • Historic Name: Methodist Episcopal Church/Grange Hall
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

The facade is marked by a central doorway flanked by 4 full-length pilasters rising to a full pedimented gable end. These vertical flushboard pilasters rest on a plain wide water table and have moulded capitals. Five pilasters interspersed by four large rectangular shuttered windows adorn the north and south sides. Changes which have been made include the removal of the square church tower and the alterations made to the entryway. The central entrance once had a wide,single-panelled,double-leaf door  flush with the facade and trimmed with plain moulding. Today there is a single six-panelled door recessed slightly back from the facade and flanked by three paned sidelights over a single panelled base as well as two slender fluted pilasters. Directly above the doorway is a plain architrave and crown moulded cornice with dentil mouldinq. Surmounting the entrance are two large single panels, where windows were originally located. These panels are capped by a projecting square dovehood supported by two foliated scrolled consoles. Lastly, a four-paned transom, just under the wide entablature, completes the entryway.

Historical or Architectural Importance

The Durham Grange/Methodist Episcopal Church is a single-story, Greek Revival-style building that sits on a high foundation of mortared sandstone and has a wood-shingled
gable-to-main-street roof. The temple-like structure is clapboarded with the exception of flushboarding on the west facade.
From the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1815 through the early 1830s, the congregation ran from 30 to about 10 members. It was not until the mid-1830s that membership increased to the point where it necessitated building a permanent structure. A lot containing 10 rods was purchased from Zebulon Hale and Enos Rogers in 1836. The cornerstone for the church was laid July 1, 1836~ Upon completion the very same year the church was the second in Durham. The other was the Third Meetinghouse that was situated directly across Main Street. It was replaced with the South Congregational Church, today the Town Hall.
The building of the Methodist Episcopal Church marks a rapidly changing society in Durham from an all-encompassing ecclesiastical parish to the separation of the ecclesiastical society from the town in 1804.