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St. James Episcopal Chapel

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1867–1868, Gordon W. Lloyd; 1958 addition. 25150 E. River Rd.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • Angel of Praise window (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)

St. James Chapel is an exquisite example of the important early Gothic rural technique of board-and-batten advocated by Andrew Jackson Downing. Elizabeth (Lisette) Denison Forth, a former slave and longtime household servant of the John Biddle family, willed her life savings of about $3,000 to build a chapel. With additional contributions from sons William and James Biddle, this chapel was erected to the plans of the Biddles' friend Gordon Lloyd. The steeply gabled little building has scalloped bargeboards pierced with quatrefoils, pointed-arched windows with tracery, a gable entrance vestibule, and a wooden bell-cote. Buttresses support its exterior walls. The interior is best seen in the afternoon, when the sun lights the Angel of Praise stained glass window, which was manufactured by Tiffany and installed in 1898 in the west wall in memory of Susan Dayton Ogden Biddle. The chapel is one of Lloyd's finest works and is comparable to the works of Richard Upjohn. This is a supreme example of a small Ecclesiological church.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "St. James Episcopal Chapel", [Grosse Ile Township, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 125-126.

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