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St. John's Episcopal Church

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1759–1762; 1826, Jacob Bishop; 1861; 1885, Charles M. Burns; 1898, Henry Congdon; 1986, Spillman and Farmer; 1995, Terry Eason. 1 N. Hanover St.
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

This church has its roots in the creation of the proprietary town. The first building on land given by the Penn family was followed by a Federal-style stone church constructed in 1826. In 1861, Bishop's building was overlaid with medieval detail, accented by an entrance tower. The designer chose a Romanesque style that incorporated the round-headed windows of the nave. The principal feature is the great west tower with a spire that is now one of the chief landmarks of the town. Reading artist George Seiling painted the frescoes for this phase and makes it likely that the architect for this phase was connected to Reading. Charles M. Burns built the parish hall and chapel to the side to serve the Indian School congregants. These are now screened by Spillman and Farmer's 1980s arcade that connects to the new parish house on the south. The church interior was brought up to Victorian High Church practice by New Yorker Henry Congdon, who extended the chancel, designed the marble altar (by J. R. Lamb of New York), and added the leaded glass windows. In 1995, Eason's North Carolina practice created the neo-Victorian color scheme and re-created the Minton tile floor, returning the interior to its Victorian intensity of hue.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "St. John's Episcopal Church", [Carlisle, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 365-365.

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