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First Presbyterian Church

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1874–1875, Carpenter and Matthews; 1931 social hall; 1947 organ screen and 1950 Stockton Hall, Edwin S. Hanna and D. Fuller Stewart; 1970 additions, William J. Douglass for Hunter, Heiges. 890 Liberty St.

This is a fine example of a Gothic Revival brick church with asymmetrical steeples, pointed-arched windows, and buttressed walls. The smaller of the two towers has an unusual convex spire. Unlike the other churches that front on the diamond, this church faces a side street. From the 1930s, a series of flat-roofed, brick additions has enlarged the educational wing. The original church was designed by an interesting Meadville pair: Colonel Phineas B. Carpenter (1827–1904), a Russian-born Civil War veteran, and his carpenter partner Orville C. Matthews. They partnered in 1867, and by 1874, as they began work on this church, were advertising themselves as “architects, builders and contractors” working on courthouses and churches. Their partnership ended the following year, but Carpenter continued as a builder in the region until 1892.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "First Presbyterian Church", [Meadville, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 510-511.

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