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ArchitectureRichmond: A look at St. John’s Episcopal Church

June 19, 2012 9:09 am by

ArchitectureRichmond takes a look at St.John’s Church

Although Richmond embraces its English roots, there are few places that evoke the flavor and memory of our city’s colonial heritage more than the tree-shaded and walled grounds of St. John’s Episcopal Church atop Church Hill. The sanctuary itself, a frame, modest-sized, vernacular structure, is the city’s oldest house of worship (although it has been expanded numerous times). And today, while the church’s profile is more picturesque than colonial in appearance, the churchyard (and city burial grounds it contains), possesses a peaceful dignity amidst the burgeoning downtown activity only blocks away. This was Richmond’s first major public cemetery and is the resting place of such notables as George Wythe, (America’s first law professor who taught Thomas Jefferson and James Madison), and Elizabeth Poe, an actress who was more famously the mother of Edgar Allan Poe. A special treat on the south side of the church grounds– which offers a dramatic, hilltop vantage point from which to enjoy the mostly 19th century skyline and rooftops of Church Hill– is the one-story, diminutive carpenter Gothic-style pastor’s study with rich exterior architectural detailing.


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