Historic Structures

St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Rochester New York

Date added: May 21, 2010 Categories: New York Church Gothic Revival

The Gothic details applied to a basically eighteenth century American church plan and elevation make St. Luke's Church an important transition in the development of church architecture and the Gothic Revival style.

In 1828, the building was enlarged by an addition of two bays toward the west. In 1856, the tower was remodeled, altering the upper stage to its present form, a gabled belfry. In 1836, the double pulpit was installed, followed in 1839, by the screen and canopy above it. A chancel rail, or altar rail, was installed in 1843. In 1856, the interior was "frescoed," painted tracery paneling on the west wall. The wall was again "frescoed" in either 1866-67 (the most probable date) or in 1887, this time simulating an apsidal ending with ambulatory. In 1867, a central aisle was opened, and a door opened to it through the tower. In 1925 and 1946, extensive repairs and interior alterations were made. In the 1920's organs were installed in the spaces afforded by the western-most bay of the north and south side aisles and galleries. This made the chancel a recessed bay in the center. Paneling was placed on the chancel walls at either side of the pulpit, exposed organ pipes springing from canopies which were made harmonious with the original one above the pulpit. All of this woodwork was given a dark color, as were the clustered columns of the nave. Original sections of the altar rail were reassembled to enclose the chancel (as at present) and choir stalls were introduced.

Over-all dimensions: Fifty-three feet by seventy-three feet; three bays by four bays; three-and-one-half stories, with three story annex; rectangular layout.

Located right next door to the Rochester Free Academy.