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   Gothic Revival Towers

CHURCH TYPE INFORMATION

Name

Gothic Revival Towers

General Range

1870-1920


HISTORIC OVERVIEW OF THIS STYLE

Following the Civil War, denominations that were making the shift away from their nonconformist roots often built Chapel Plan churches with a limited amount of Gothic detailing and often incorporated one or two towers. The common label for this class of churches is "Single Asymmetrical Tower Churches," an unnecessarily clumsy label. For several denominations, such as the Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists, incorporating towers (of which steeples may be a part) was the first step in moving from plain houses of worship to a higher style architecture beginning in the late 19th century. The design usually provides a single entrance into the church, which is through the tower a means of enforcing acceptance of the tower. In the 1870s, the entry tower was located off one corner rather than being centered on the main elevation. By the 1880s, new churches were often constructed with two towers (one at each corner on the main elevation). Exterior elements can include various decorative motifs such as buttresses, pointed arch windows, pinnacles, quatrefoil windows, ocular windows, and doors located in recessed pointed arch bays. In the original construction, windows used clear glass until around 1900 when stained glass and electric lighting within became the standard.
 
The interior of these churches represents a shift in design. Open pews, which were called "slip pews" at the time, were arranged in ranks facing the chancel area in the front. The use of the term "nave" was re-appearing, although some Protestant denominations called this area the "sanctuary" instead. The chancel area contained the altar and pulpit. Beginning in the 1890s, the choir was also located in the chancel for many denominations, behind the pulpit.


UPDATE

If you have additional information or corrections to the existing information, send an email to info@preservationerie.org.
Submitted information is reviewed by Preservation Erie prior to updating the database.


EXAMPLE


HISTORIC CHURCHES OF THIS TYPE

Municipality

Name

Address

City of Corry

325 N CENTER ST

City of Corry

203 207E SOUTH ST

Edinboro Borough

130 MEADVILLE ST

Elk Creek Township

9390 PONT RD

City of Erie

St. Stephen's Hungarian RC Ch

1247 W 21 ST

City of Erie

St. Nicholas Greek Cath Ch

1115 EAST AVE

City of Erie

St. John the Baptist RC Ch

504 E 27th Street

City of Erie

St. Casimir Roman Catholic Ch.

629 Hess Ave.

City of Erie

St. John's Lutheran Ch.

2216 Peach Street

City of Erie

1610 SASSAFRAS ST

City of Erie

1024 PEACH ST

City of Erie

Cathedral of St. Paul

133 W 6 Street

City of Erie

St. Mary's Church

310 E 10 Street

City of Erie

2902 OLD FRENCH RD

Fairview Township

Presbyterian Church

4264 Avonia Road

Girard Borough

413 OLIN AVE

Girard Borough

48 MAIN ST

Greenfield Township

9028 WILLIAMS RD

Harborcreek Township

First Presbyterian Church

6722 Buffalo Rd

Lake City Borough

10087 SAMPSON AVE

Lawrence Park Township

RUMSEY AVENUE

McKean Borough

N MAIN ST

North East Borough

W MAIN ST

Union City Borough

St. Theresa's Ch

7 THIRD AVE

Union Township

8701 UNION AMITY RD

Venango Township

13427 ROUTE 8

Waterford Borough

128 CHERRY ST


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