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St. Mark's Episcopal Church

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1846–1847. 1915–1919, Rev. Herbert Jukes. 405–407 B Street (between 4th and 6th aves.)
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church

The lineal descendant of the first Episcopal church established in Kanawha County, St. Mark's replaced a church destroyed by fire in 1845. Bishop Meade consecrated it in 1847, remarking that it was “of brick, built after a good model, and is not only convenient for the services of religion, but attractive to the traveler's eye, in passing that portion of the rich and beautiful valley of the Kanawha.” What the exact “good model” was is unknown, but for its time and place, St. Mark's was indeed a sophisticated design. It recalls early Gothic Revival churches on the eastern seaboard fostered by the ecclesiological movement, as well as several of Richard Upjohn's designs for rural churches. Behind a later one-story vestibule, the facade of the small rectangular structure is highlighted by a slightly projecting central bay that rises to a bell cote. Wall buttresses with sandstone caps separate four side bays. All openings, including the belfry, are unadorned lancets.

The building suffered severe damage from its use as a stable by Union troops during the Civil War, and it was subsequently closed for several years. In 1915 the United States made belated restitution for war damages, and the Rev. Herbert Jukes, who had been an architect before becoming an Episcopalian rector, guided the restoration. He also crafted the chancel furniture during his years at St. Mark's (1913–1919). A parish hall to the rear dates from 1955, and a new, larger church was built parallel to the old one in 1969, forming the present U-shaped complex.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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