Annunciation's congregation was established in 1865 when sixty Irish families received the bishop's permission to form their own parish; their first church was built in 1867. A few years later Peter Herdic gave the parish its present lot, and in 1886 construction of the new Romanesque Revival church began. Wagner's design aspired to cathedral status. Built of rock-faced Ralston sandstone with Hummelstown brownstone trim, it has forty-three stained glass windows. A central tower with a hexagonal spire was envisioned, but during construction the scaffolding failed and four workers fell to their deaths. The spire scheme was abandoned and Wagner terminated the tower with corner pinnacles (since removed). In 1914, the Daprato Statuary Company installed the Carrara marble altars and railings and statues. The Tiffany Studios Ascension of Christ window behind the main altar was installed in 1925. After Vatican II, some minor interior changes were made in the mid-1960s, but the space, especially the half-domed apse flanked by paired columns with gilded Corinthian capitals, remains among Wagner's finest works. The adjacent Monsignor William J. Fleming Center was built in 1978, and the parish adapted the Smith-Ulman House (1870, Isaac Hobbs) at 634 W. 4th Street as its rectory. Amos Wagner was born in nearby Montgomery in 1840 and moved to Williamsport when he was eighteen to learn carpentry from Eber Culver. He studied drafting at night, and by 1869 he was designing on his own.
You are here
Church of the Annunciation
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.