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Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (St. Andrew's)

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St. Andrew's
1840. 1854 enlarged, Thomas Dixon. 1890 interior alterations, E. James Dallett for Baker and Dallett. 1917 Parish House, E. James Dallett. 1954 addition. 8th and Shipley sts.

This urban church memorializes Bishop Alfred Lee, who led the revival of Episcopalianism in Delaware and who was rector at St. Andrew's starting in 1841, the year after the original edifice of 1829 burned. The blocky tower and heavy facade detailing later added by Dixon are typical of the overscaled design forms popular in the 1850s. Walls are stuccoed and scored to resemble ashlar. The wide interior was entirely redone by Dallett, who attended the church; he added three huge Romanesque arches of Caen stone in front of the chancel, with intricately carved capitals, the whole effect recalling the work of Boston architect H. H. Richardson. The original stencil work on the chancel walls has been replaced by garish gold paint. The 1890s taste is exemplified by the pews with their almost Art Nouveau carving; the pale, abstract stained-glass windows with chunky bull's-eyes; and the mosaic floor at the entrance. In 1907, a triptych was added over the altar, and ten years later Dallett inserted a baptistry niche in a side wall and built the Parish House. Recently, the font (1890) was moved to a new location and surrounded by a marble pavement (2002, Lee Sparks). St. Andrew's was the largest church in the diocese around 1950, but its congregation was decimated by white flight. Subsequently, it merged with an African American congregation, St. Matthew's, that had split off from it in the nineteenth century.

Writing Credits

Author: 
W. Barksdale Maynard
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Citation

W. Barksdale Maynard, "Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (St. Andrew's)", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DE-01-WL43.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 113-114.

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