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Court Street Baptist Church

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1879–1884, Robert C. Burkholder. 517 Court St.
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)

This rectangular brick church with an imposing tower and steeple, something of a stylistic melange, is mostly a late American version of the German Rundbogenstil. Round arches, raised surrounds, and planar brick walls relieved by pilaster strips are characteristic features. There are also desultory Italianate and Second Empire details, although the form is that of a late, large, New England meetinghouse. Altogether, the church leaves a dignified, but hardly showy, impression. Burkholder designed it for an African American congregation, and black contractors and laborers built it. The 167-foot-tall steeple was the tallest in the city when it was completed. A severe storm in June 1993 damaged the steeple to the extent that it had to be removed and rebuilt.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee

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