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The Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal)

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1906, William Howe Patton. 1977. 903 Charles St. (north corner of Charles and William sts.)

This pink-stuccoed Spanish Colonial Revival church is a decided architectural anomaly in a neighborhood of small-scale vernacular houses. The parish was founded in 1891 to serve the growing east end of the city. Episcopal bishop George W. Peterkin and his wife donated the lot and the first parish house, which no longer stands. When it came time to build the sanctuary, the bishop chose the design motif, having been inspired by an 1893 visit to Brazil, by early missions he saw while attending a church convention in California, or by both. Architect William Howe Patton's attempt to transform the bishop's vision into reality produced an endearing, if not entirely authentic, facsimile. The taller of the two towers that flank the facade terminates in an octagonal belfry covered with a dome originally surmounted by a small cupola. The facade and transept ends have stepped and curvilinear gables containing windows that provide the most convincing elements of the Spanish mission motif.

The sanctuary, more Craftsman than Spanish in inspiration, contains two stained glass windows given as memorials to the Peterkins' sons. The adjacent 1977 parish house replicates the forms of the church it adjoins, notably the arches, but eschews pink stucco for dark brown brick.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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