AJ Williams-Myers African Roots Center
The Mule Barn That Looks Like a Church
In Ponckhockie stands a ruin at the dead end of little-traveled Yeomans Street. Its high concrete facade looks vaguely like a church, but in fact it was built about 1870 as a mule barn for the Newark Lime & Cement Manufacturing Company, Kingston’s “largest manufacturing establishment” in 1880. The barn itself demonstrated through its concrete walls the structural and decorative possibilities of the company’s product. The manufactory closed in 1905. Some 20 years after closing, Emanuel Baptist Church prepared the ground level of the building as temporary quarters for the church. At the same time ambitious plans were announced to turn the structure into “an up to date religious and social center.” Looking at the property now, there is no indication of how the interior was revamped for the church’s use. The only clear sign of the church’s presence is a broken and weathered segment of the cornerstone inscribed with the church’s name and the church’s founding date, 1926.
Learn more about the African Roots Center: https://africanrootslibrary.org/