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St. Andrew's Catholic Church

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1900–1902, William P. Ginther. 631 N. Jefferson St.
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (HABS; Photograph by Tim Buchman)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

Standing atop Railroad Hill, this church, which replaced an earlier building for its congregation of Catholic railroad employees, was funded by Ida Barry Ryan, wife of Thomas Fortune Ryan of Oak Ridge (NE9). The church is a rare example in Virginia of yellow brick High Victorian Gothic. The church has a characteristically French facade composed of twin front towers flanking three deeply recessed portals beneath a rose window. Above the rose window is a niche with a statue of St. Andrew. Tall spires, buttresses, corbeling, roof cresting, and a flèche at the crossing of the nave and transept add excitement to the church's bold silhouette. Steps lead up to the three gabled portals that open to the narthex and stairways to the balcony above it. Rib vaults terminating in pendants cover the nave. The richly decorated interior includes ceiling and wall stenciling of vines, branches, and flowers that was added in 1947, and a white marble altar and railings. The Franz Mayer Company of Munich, Germany, created some of the stained glass windows.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "St. Andrew's Catholic Church", [Roanoke, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 417-418.

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