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Christ Church

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1867–1869, J. F. Miller; 1877–1887 Guild House, John Henry Hopkins Jr.; 1891 tower, Amos S. Wagner; 1908 parish house. 426 Mulberry St.

Organized in 1841 with only three members, Christ Church is Williamsport's oldest Episcopal congregation. It struggled in its early years, and took five years to raise sufficient money to begin construction and another twelve years to be free of debt. Richard Channing Moore, the church's rector during the mid-1860s, had strong family connections to New York City and was evidently responsible for retaining Miller of New York as the church's architect. Miller gave Williamsport an early ecclesiastical example of the colorful High Victorian Gothic. He built the church of random Muncy sand-stone, finishing the squat pointed-arched doorways and lancet windows with alternating brick and light sandstone voussoirs and outlining the gable with a band of sandstone quatrefoils set within a brick band. The multiple corner buttresses on the tower's lower stages convey a Gothic solidity. The double-pitched gable roof suggests an aisle-and-nave plan, but instead the church has a single-nave plan with two sets of oak posts rising from the original pews to a complex of trusses running the length of the church. The Reverend John Henry Hopkins Jr. (writer and composer of the carol “We Three Kings”) became rector in 1876 and apparently designed the rear two-story castellated Guild House. He also designed in 1878 the bishop's chair in the sanctuary and sketched the third stage of the tower, which had been left unfinished. Hopkins's tower design was too expensive to construct, however, so in 1891 at the church's fiftieth anniversary, local architect Amos Wagner designed and saw to completion the tower's battlemented third stage with its corner pinnacle. Eleven windows are by the Tiffany Studio; the most recent window (1988) is by Hiemer Glass Company. Two additions to the rear of the Guild House, the parish house and the kitchen, date from 1908 and 1926.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Christ Church", [Williamsport, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-LY13.

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, 573-574.

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