Saint Andrews Episcopal Church

St. Andrews Episcopal Church From an early postcard

   Photo courtesy St. Andrews Church.

 One of the historic churches in Pittsburgh designed by Mr. Carpenter is the St. Andrews Episcopal Church at 5801 Hampton Street, Highland Park.  Although accredited to the Carpenter & Crocker partnership, Mr. Carpenter was the lead architect on the project.  We see here the strong influence of the Gothic Revival and traditional Norman styles which he had studied in England and while associated with E. G. Lind in Baltimore. At the time of the dedication of this church in 1906 we read from the Pittsburgh Chronicle Telegraph: “The style of architecture is a peculiar type modeled after the Church of England, being a transitional Norman to the perpendicular gothic. ”

 

/////////////wm. J. Carpenter

Main Entrance of St. Andrews

 The large square tower which graces the front of the church has been pronounced by experts as being a fine English ecclesiastical architecture.”The full complex of three buildings (church, parish house, rectory) as seen in the photograph above were designed and built together.  

Some of the architectural details are covered in the Abbreviated History…St. Andrews Episcopal Church:

 The new structure, reminiscent of an English country church, is a relatively small building, erected at a cost of $100,000, with a square tower at the southern end, a short nave…The young Pittsburgh architects, Carpenter and Crocker, employed a restrained form of the Gothic Revival.  Most of the exterior is unornamented rough limestone, but there is ornament typical of the style—pointed arches and stained glass windows, trefoils, crockets, pinnacles, and gargoyles.  Attached in a U-shaped complex are the two-storied parish house and rectory.  Their construction—rough limestone on the first floor and half-timbering above—is also in the English Gothic or Tudor style, and relates the buildings well to the church structure.

Photo courtesy Michael Eversmeyer

 The main entrance on the front side of the tower opens to a small granite and terrazzo-floored vestibule and directly to the main aisle.  The side aisles are arched in gothic style; the woodwork throughout is of dark-stained oak which has as a main feature an arched ceiling to harmonize with the general style.  Pews, panels in doors, and windows are all patterned in the conventional English style.  There are three large windows—one in each transept, both attributed to Clara Miller Burd, and one in the chancel above the altar made by the Tiffany Studios, New York…

  

 

The congregation recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the construction of this worship center, years during which the building itself has served their needs well.  Ironically the only documented design (construction) problem associated with any of Carpenter’s buildings that I have found  was the leaking roof of this building.  First noted in 1907 it apparently has never been resolved satisfactorily.  A 2004 report states that “The roof has been a constant problem over the years.  It seems to have been designed to leak, (since several times each winter) melting snow backs up behind the parapet walls while the downspouts remain frozen.”

  Other Pittsburgh area churches designed by Carpenter and Crocker were the St. James Episcopal Church (Holy Cross Episcopal), 1903, Kelly & Collier Streets and the Trinity Cathedral parish house, 1907. They may have also designed the St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Sewickley, but I have been unable to verify this.  (Perhaps some reader can help out here?)  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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