Over a week ago, I took a trip from my suburban home in New Jersey to the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. The first major building I saw, a block away from where I emerged from the subway, was Emmanuel Baptist Church. It towers over the northwest corner of Lafayette Avenue and St. James Place.
It was built in 1887 but seems as if it should be much older—probably because architect Francis H. Kimball based his design on European models: a French 13th-century church with Romanesque touches. It is reputed to be one of the best projects in the career of Kimball, who also designed major commercial towers in lower Manhattan at the turn of the 20th century, as well as that borough’s Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo house and Brooklyn’s Montauk Club.