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Epworth United Methodist Church

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1893–1896, Carpenter and Peebles. 1915, 1917, additions, Mitchell and Wilcox. 1921, sanctuary remodeling. 1941, tower modification. 1953, educational annex and chapel, Vernon A. Moore. 124 W. Freemason St.
  • Epworth United Methodist Church (Richard Guy Wilson)
  • Epworth United Methodist Church (Virginia Division of Historic Resources)

James E. R. Carpenter, the younger of the two partners responsible for the design of this church, had been trained in McKim, Mead and White's Boston office, close to many Richardsonian landmarks, including Trinity Church (1872–1876), a point of departure for this Romanesque Revival structure. Epworth's cross-insquare plan allowed the architects to make maximum use of a constricted but highly desirable corner lot. An enormous tower at the southwest corner (drawn from Richardson's Brattle Square Church, Boston, 1870–1872) breaks the cubic massing of the sanctuary and defines the main entrance at its base; truncated towers fill the other corners. Color, pattern, and texture are used to maximum effect on the exterior. Gray granite walls are juxtaposed with brownstone trim, and red tiles cover the crossgabled roof. Rose windows with plate tracery pierce the north and south facades, while a triple lancet window fills the west facade. The present appearance of the interior dates from its remodeling in 1921. A low saucer dome carried on pendentives springs from the corner piers, and galleries surround the sanctuary on three sides. The stained glass windows, by the Masking Company of Rochester, are knockouts.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Epworth United Methodist Church", [Norfolk, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 422-422.

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