Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The People's Palace

In 1903, the largest Congregational Church of New Jersey laid the cornerstone for the People's Palace in Jersey City. It was to accommodate not only Sunday school, but also dancing, card games, bowling, swimming, and all kinds of recreation. As the Reverend John J. Scudder said at the time: "The People's Palace will sanctify all legitimate amusements and not let the Devil have a monopoly of them. It will keep boys off the street, young men out of saloons, and young women out of dance halls. "

Lora Nichols sent this card to Ed(d) Weed in Milan. I think it's fair to say that it was Milan, New York and not Milan, Italy. The town of Milan is still fairly small, with a population of about 2,300.  Her message reads:
Many Kind thoughts of Jesus from Lora Nichols to Dear Mr. Weed.


  1. Interesting building and purpose!
    Dance halls are not legitimate amusements?
    Lora wanted some Weed.

  2. An imposing building, no wonder it needed so many floors to fulfill all the Rev.'s aims.

  3. The scale of purpose as well as the size of the building!


  4. And a rather boring time was had by all. That's an interesting roof. Is it a conduit to God?

  5. I thought the roof was a cage of some sort at first glance, just teasing those who thought they were going to heaven- then I realized it was a trellis, so they must have been partaking in some type of 'legitimate amusements' on the roof. Here in Portland they have an open air basketball court on about the tenth floor of the downtown jail, it overlooks a park so is pretty good real estate, except for the fact that you have to go back to your cell at some point...

  6. Personally, I think it was a brilliant concept and I love Reverend Scudder's quote. It makes so much sense. I wonder how it did. It seems that it would have been a great attraction if it had enough funding.

  7. Nice article, thanks for the information.



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