Tag Archives: Episcopal

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Pittsfield (1890)

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

The original St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Pittsfield was built in 1832 near to the Town Hall. When Allen Street was being opened up through its original property, the parish purchased land next door and constructed its current church in 1889-1890. Designed by Peabody & Stearns, St. Stephen’s was constructed of Longmeadow red sandstone. It’s design was no doubt influenced by the Gothic Revival style of the nearby First Congregational Church. Both churches have stained glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Mary Elizabeth Tillinghast. Services in the church began in 1890 and St. Stephen’s was consecrated by Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, on November 19, 1892. The Parish House at the rear of the church, built in 1916, was expanded in 1956. The church underwent major renovations in 1984.

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St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Marblehead (1714)

Located at 26 Pleasant Street in Marblehead, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is the oldest Episcopal church building on its original site in New England. Founded by a group of donors consisting primarily of sea captains, the church was built in 1714, with many of its original materials being shipped from Great Britain. The original square church was expanded by one third in 1728 with a new roof. During the Revolutionary War in 1776, patriots raided the church and removed the British royal coat of arms. Many of St. Michael’s members at the time were Loyalists who fled to Canada. As related in Historic churches of America (1907), by Nellie Urner Wallington:

In the course of time, as one by one the families of the communicants died or removed to distant localities, the parish was so depleted that in 1818 funds were no longer forthcoming for the support of the church. The church building was closed, and the glebe sold to pay off the debt of the parish. In 1833, however, vigorous attempts on the part of the Congregationalists to secure possession of the church edifice roused the whole Episcopal church of the United States, until parish after parish contributed aid and old St. Michael’s was once more set upon its feet.

The church‘s current stained glass windows were installed in 1888.

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Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield (1876)

Christ Church in Springfield began in 1817, when the Episcopalian commander of the Springfield Armory, Col. Roswell Lee, established a chapel on the second floor of a small building on the armory grounds. When a fire destroyed the main arsenal in 1824, Springfield Episcopalians worshiped at several different temporary locations until construction began in 1839 on a church at State and Dwight Streets. The church was enlarged in 1851, but further growth necessitated the building of a new church. A Norman Gothic structure of Longmeadow brownstone, it was designed by architect Stephen C. Earle of Worcester and was built on Chestnut Street in 1874-1876. Within a year, the church’s tower cracked and was dismantled for safety reasons. It was not rebuilt until 1927. In 1929, Christ Church became the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

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Grace Church, Salem (1926)

In 1858, a group of parishioners from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Salem established Grace Church, which would be constructed at 385 Essex Street later that year. The parishioners wanted to found a second Episcopal Church in Salem that would be closer to their homes in the western part of the city. By 1924, the original wooden Gothic building of Grace Church was deemed no longer adequate. It was structurally unsound–one could stand against the wall and shake the whole building. In 1926, a new church was built on the same site. Initial plans for a Georgian Revival structure were eventually changed and the completed church was designed by architect Philip Horton Smith in the Gothic Revival style. Three years later, the church was connected to an adjacent Federal-style residence, Burrell House, which is used as a parish house.

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St. John’s Episcopal Church, Northampton (1893)

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Northampton was established in 1826. The original wooden church was located on on Bridge Street and was designed by Thomas Pratt, a noted local builder. His son, architect William Fenno Pratt, later added the steeple and served as the church’s organist and choir director from 1836 to 1861. A new stone church, the gift of philanthrophist George Bliss of Brooklyn, New York, who was originally from Northampton, was built on Elm Street, adjacent to the campus of Smith College, in 1893. The church was designed by R.W. Gibson of New York and was built by the Norcross Brothers of Worcester.

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Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst (1865)

As related in The History of the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts (1896):

Sept. 20, 1864, a number of men residing in Amherst met at the residence of Mrs. Mary H. Jones, to consider the practicability of forming in Amherst a parish of the Protestant Episcopal church. [...] Rev. Frederick D. Huntington, at that time rector of the Emanuel church in Boston, was present at the meeting: it was largely owing to his efforts that the parish was formed. Being invited to give a name to the parish, he selected that of “Grace church.”

At a meeting on May 26, 1865,

it was voted that the parish build a stone church, a committee of five being appointed to have charge of the work. Work on the building was begun that year, and was carried on so rapidly that the parish held a meeting in the basement of the church, April 2, 1866. The building was consecrated by the Bishop of the diocese, July 17. It was designed by Henry Dudley of New York, the type of architecture being 13th century English. It was built of a gray gneiss, quarried in Leverett.

The tower, part of Dudley’s riginal plan, was added to Grace Episcopal Church in 1868.

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St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Salem (1833)

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Salem was established in 1733 and a wooden church was built the following year on land donated by Philip English, a wealthy merchant. English and his wife, Mary, had been accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. The original church was taken down in 1833 and replaced by the present stone church, constructed from plans by Isaiah Rogers of Boston. Like Salem’s First Church, it is a highly regarded example of a Gothic Revival stone masonry church of the early nineteenth century. It was enlarged in 1845 and a new chapel was added in 1871, built directly over the parish’s old graveyard. Some of the tombstones were incorporated into the chapel’s walls.

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