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Central Methodist Church

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c. 1901–1903, attributed to James E. R. Carpenter. 1914, Sunday school addition, Benjamin F. Mitchell. Northwest corner of South and Washington sts.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

A comparison between this church and St. Paul's reveals the enormous divergence in ecclesiastical taste that occurred at the turn of the twentieth century. Whereas St. Paul's is monochromatic with academic detailing in the latest fashion, this eclectic Victorian GothicRomanesque church is polychromed and inventively detailed, but somewhat old fashioned for the time. Florentine arches with exaggerated voussoirs are used around the exterior, while the checkered patterns of brownstone and granite in the tower and gables are especially vivid. Originally built for the congregation of Central Methodist Church, in its crossin-square plan with corner tower the building closely follows Carpenter and Peebles's design for Epworth United Methodist Church in Norfolk.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Central Methodist Church", [Portsmouth, 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, 447-447.

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