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Revival: 1900

Revival: 1900

Ocean Grove, New Jersey, circa 1900-1910. "Interior of auditorium." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Fond Memories of Graduation

Graduation ceremonies from Neptune High School in 1957 were held here. Much better than an outdoor stadium. I wonder how many graduations were held after that.

The prototype

The Auditorium at Ocean Grove was patterned after the Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution. The leaders of Ocean Grove perused the Amp, and designed a building that was a copy to a great degree. The Ocean Grove Auditorium took the outer rows of seats from the Amp and turned them into a balcony. It was completed a year after the Chautauqua structure.
Both buildings are still going strong and are terrific venues to enjoy music. They have exquisite acoustics, like being inside a giant cello.


As an Electrician, I would hate to have to be responsible for re-lamping this building back then. Today I would rent a articulated lift to get so high up above the seating, but back then, I imagine the best option might be scaffolding. Unless there was access above the ceiling. Either way it would be tough.


Despite the fire hazard of all that wood and all that hellfire, the 1894 auditorium is indeed still standing, and its surroundings seem unchanged as well:

I've been there. It's magnificent.

An interior shot:

The tent houses still stand also:

Ocean Grove is well worth visiting--it's almost like a little time capsule.

Here's some video

Still standing

I live in the area & was visiting Ocean Grove & Asbury Park which is right next to Ocean Grove. Tony Bennett was playing the Great Auditorium, as it is known, & you can actually hear the concert in the next town over! Here is a current photo of the auditorium, not much has changed.

In the Sweet By and By

The roof had to rise up off its rafters or beams as the choir, pipe organ, orchestra and congregation raised their voices in the great 19th century hymns! Would loved to have heard them! None of the pathetic little 7-11 songs of today where they sing the same seven words over and over 11 times in monotonous drudgery. Then it was five full verses plus chorus each time!

High reach

I bet all those little light bulbs hanging from the ceiling were pretty lit up but it must have been a job to replace them when they burned out.

Say What?

They must have had some sort of amplification system in use, but I can't imagine what it would be back then.

[It was called "oratory." - Dave]

And the Spirit moved

They meant business during that turn-of-the-century Holiness revival. And I'll bet deodorant hadn't even been invented.


Today's fire marshal would be horrified with this seating arrangement and building materials.

A lot of wood

I was thinking the same thing......a lot of wood was used to build this place. The downside is places like this burned down fairly easily. Not to mention being on the coast, you would assume the wood was more subject to corrosion & rot.


Religion on an industrial scale. Amazing.

Sitting in judgment

I hope the revivalists provided seat cushions. Ouch.

Praise the Lord

For your viewers who are city slickers and sophisticated lifelong residents of either American coast, they might not realize that these revivals are still going on to this very day in the Southern states of the U.S. on all levels, from the big entertainment shows in huge church auditoriums to the local small scale "tent revivals" which are precisely as described, various sizes of simple tents with assortments of metal or plastic folding chairs or even B.Y.O.C. venues. There are both ordained ministers or simple country preachers and everything from full orchestras to a single rinky-dink used piano. Elmer Gantry comes to mind as individual cardboard fans are distributed by the local funeral homes. Having grown up in Connecticut, I really enjoy my current residence in the south, sometimes I feel like I'm living in a moving picture, but the people have stellar strength of character which I find intriguing. I didn't know what I was missing growing up as a Yankee.

Elmer Gantry Lives!

Where are Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons?

Holy cow!

An esthetic nightmare!

Beautiful Building

Interesting building, looks like it's still standing too.

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Fireproof Construction

This place gives new meaning to "Burn in eternal damnation."

How many trees did it take

to create a marvel like that? All that wood must have smelled wonderful - until half the occupants lit up their cigars. Maybe smoking wasn't allowed for being sinful, not to mention the tremendous fire hazard. A wonderful space, anyway, complete with full orchestra.

Say Amen sombody

Looks like a Revival setting up.

Just imagine

The heat in that place on a July Sunday

Wheres Waldo?

Post Rapture?

Re: Wooden You Know It

Thanks for the hearty laugh I got from your comment.

Electrifying Sermon

With a stage show and gear like that I'd have to guess it's Billy Sunday.

A Magnificent Auditorium

The is the wonderful auditorium where I was lucky enough to once see a production of Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" back in the summer of 1947. The acoustics were amazing. Ocean Grove, just south of Asbury Park on the north Jesrey Shore, along with Ocean City on the south Jesey shore, and Oak Bluffs, on Martha's Vineyard, were popular Methodist summer camp grounds and resorts and probably still are. You could not drive on the streets of Ocean Grove on Sunday. The locals hung chains across the roadways into the community to prevent cars and trucks from disturbing the tranquility.

Wooden you know it

So that's what happened to Noah's Ark!

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