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Meet Me in Ocean Park

~ Temple Square ~


Image: The TempleThe Temple and Bell Tower
Assembly activities center on the Temple Square, the geographic center of Ocean Park and the historic name for the plot of land on which the Temple, Porter Hall, Jordan Hall and the Bell Tower all stand. These structures all face south along Temple Avenue. The buildings date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All four structures are remarkably unchanged (with the exception being accommodations for accessibility). They all share the same grove of cathedral pines whose history far precedes them. The Temple Square is in the geographic center of Ocean Park. The Temple was named to the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's official list of historic places important to our history and worthy of preservation, on April 28, 1975 and on March 2, 1982 the other buildings were added to form a historic district called the "Ocean Park Historic Buildings."

When The Temple and the Bell Tower were built in 1881-1882, approximately 24 lots were set aside and known as Temple Square. No tenting was allowed within this area, which was to hold the Assembly Buildings, although from the early beginnings other space was needed for meetings besides the Temple and various tents served these functions.

This architecturally important building was built in 1881. It is a wooden, octagonal building, 80 feet in diameter, that seats up to 750 people. It is Ocean Park's oldest historical treasure. Sunday morning worship services are held here at 10:30 am throughout the season. It is also the site of most cultural events. The Temple is open weekday mornings for meditation and observation. A special flyer about the history of this unique structure is available in the Temple giving some of the. Panoramic view of interior by Seth Thompson "Sacred Spaces of New England".

Image: Bell TowerThe Bell Tower was built in 1882 and consists of a wooden structure, square in plan with hip roof and ornate decoration on each side below the roof evoking a clock face. Access to the deck is by wooden steps from the west. The deck is fitted with wooden railings. The bell tower is lighted at night year-round as a beacon of welcome.

Image: Porter HallPorter Memorial Hall was dedicated on August 4, 1902. It was built to replace one of the meeting tents known as "The Tabernacle." Porter Hall is a handsome temple-form building in the neo-Greek revival style, with facade colonnade, gable roof, and match-board siding. The columns are fluted Corinthian and support a pediment that contains the words "Hall in the Grove." A central entrance of double paneled doors is flanked on either side by a 1/1 window with louvered shutters. The sides of the hall are five bays long, with fenestration as on the facade. An internal brick chimney straddles the roof ridge in the rear. (For about 50 years Porter Hall was the Ocean Park home of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle.) Today, this building is used for Morning Watch services and for many smaller meetings and discussion sessions. Porter Hall also houses the Ocean Park History Room—open to visitors every Sunday morning after the service in the Temple.

Image: Jordan HallB. C. Jordan Memorial Hall was dedicated on July 19, 1915. This imposing building is of frame construction with two stories, hip roof, and clapboard siding. The five-bayed facade features a four-column colonnade in the Ionic order, behind which is a three-bay recess with double-doored entrance flanked by 6/6 windows. The sides of the hall are seven bays wide. All first story fenestration as on the facade, is 6/6 with pediments, except as noted below. Pediments likewise crown the hall's doorways. A secondary entrance faces the west. While the facade contains only one story, the sides and rear are two stories high. Second-floor fenestration consists of small rectangular casements, except at the rear where all bays are 6/6. Tall rectangular windows comprise the extreme bays on the facade and sides of the hall. Today, it is also used for meetings, concerts, and dramatic presentations; Sunday nursery care and Sunday school are also held in this building. Panoramic view of interior by Seth Thompson "Sacred Spaces of New England."

Image: Pergola 2007Temple Garden and Pergola
Across the street from the Temple is the Temple Garden with the Pergola, a garden arbor, and labyrinth (a meditative pathway leading to the Pergola). Originally built in 1921 and restored in 2007, the Pergola is a place for restful contemplation.


~ Private Events ~

The Temple, Jordan Hall, Porter Memorial Hall can be rented from May to October for both large and small events such as family reunions, weddings, small receptions, bar and bat mitzvahs, or memorial services, as well as for retreats, meetings and small conferences. Please note: there is no alcohol permitted in or on OPA property. Other Ocean Park buildings in and around Town Square are also available for rental.

Wedding Rental Application, Policy, and Waiver
General Building Rental Application and Waiver

2017 Summer Season