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St. Paul's Church

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1847, Thomas A. Tefft. 1851, chapel. 1872, steeple. 55 Main St.

The campanile spire, round-arched windows, and arcaded trim of Wickford's little church are typical of Thomas Tefft's use of the round-arched forms of northern Italian architecture, probably by way of German sources, whence the style was self-consciously reintroduced in the early nineteenth century as the Rundbogenstil. Tefft was among the first American architects to employ the style, which became widespread in this country from the 1850s into the 1870s. The thinness of the framed detail and the flushboard siding (to simulate the flat planes of masonry or stucco) invoke American carpentry more than masonry. Tan paint for the siding would better suggest the original intended effect rather than the white main body of the church. The sanctuary contains fine examples of Victorian ecclesiastical brass fittings.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "St. Paul's Church", [North Kingstown, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 358-359.

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