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St. James Episcopal Church

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1911–1913, Noland and Baskervill. 1994–1997, restoration, Marcellus Wright, Cox and Smith. 1888, parish house, Marion J. Dimmock. 1205 W. Franklin St.

The congregation moved to this location from an earlier church downtown. The new Episcopal church marked the terminus of the axis of Franklin Street. (The other terminus is the Virginia State Capitol in Capitol Square.) The architects drew upon James Gibbs's St. Martin-inthe-Fields in London as a prototype. The tower recalls the churches of Sir Christopher Wren. The tall spire was struck by lightning July 13, 1994, and sparked a fire that destroyed the roof and heavily damaged the interior. During the restoration of St. James's, original working drawings were used to reproduce the elaborate neoclassical plaster decoration of the sanctuary. Among the furnishings saved through the efforts of Richmond firefighters were a brass pulpit, made in 1895, from the first church building and ten stained glass windows, four of which were made by the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany. In a remarkable instance of architectural inheritance, three sets of nineteenth-century stained glass windows from Monumental Church were donated when it was decided to return Robert Mills's 1814 structure on Broad Street to its original appearance, which incorporated clear panes. The parish house was designed by Dimmock for Robert U. Powers in 1888.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "St. James Episcopal Church", [Richmond, 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, 248-249.

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