St. Luke's Church

c. 1632-65

Originally known as Newport Parish Church, this may be the oldest standing church in the United States. The actual date is debated: Smith gives the date as about 1632-65 (36) whereas The Virginia Landmarks Register suggests it was built near the end of the seventeenth century (237). In either case, it is the only original Gothic building to have survived in the United States. Smith defines the style further as medieval south English parish church, noting the simple plan, the square tower, the round-headed windows with two lancets, and the buttresses along the nave exterior. Smith adds that the church would originally have had clear glass diamond panes. The church is now the official historic shrine of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.

Works Cited:
Calder Loth, ed. The Virginia Landmarks Register. Fourth Edition. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999.
G. E. Kidder Smith. Source Book of American Architecture: 500 Notable Buildings from the 10th Century to the Present. NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996.

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© 2002 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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