St. Andrews Church
The Second Presbyterian Church congregation, originally established in 1858 and worshiping in a chapel on Chestnut Street, became inactive in 1862 because of the chaos created by the Civil War and the yellow fever epidemic running rampant though Wilmington. In 1872, the congregation was reactivated, and a new church was erected in the 400 block of Campbell Street in the Brooklyn District of downtown Wilmington..
Second Presbyterian was renamed St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in 1888, and a new sanctuary was begun in the same year. The main church building and the Christian Education Annex (added in 1910), were designed by prominent North Carolina architects. Adolphus Gustavus Bauer was the principle architect of the original structure, and Joseph F. Leitner designed the annex.
The cornerstone was placed in October 1888, and the building was completed in June 1889. The church is a large, gable-front, brick structure in the Victorian Gothic style, with asymmetrical corner towers flanking a tall pointed arch containing four lancet windows and wheel window, with smaller windows at two levels between the central opening and the towers. A stone disk with the legend “St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church – 1888” contained therein is centered in the lower portion of the gable.
The buttressed side elevations are seven bays wide - including the corner towers, eastern transepts, and an entrance porch - and are centered along Campbell Street. The roofs are pierced on each side by two triangular louvered gables. Circular windows appear in the outer faces of the northwest tower above a machicolated belt course and in the transepts. The stained glass windows in the church, some manufactured in Germany, are notable. The original spire atop the northwest tower has been replaced by a low pyramidal roof. The southwest tower is stepped at three levels, terminating in an octagonal belfry capped by an octagonal roof crowned by a metal finial. The two-story, three-bay educational building, attached to the east end of the church, was erected in 1910.
This majestic, 122-year-old church is Wilmington’s finest example of the urban, neomedieval auditorium churches constructed across the country by long-standing evangelical Christian denominations in the last decades of the 19th century. These buildings were typically erected in neighborhoods that were expanding outside of historic city centers. As an important component of Wilmington’s urban fabric, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church contributed to the character of one of the Port City’s most important historic neighborhoods - the Brooklyn District.
St. Andrews Presbyterian’s integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association mark it as a significant historical, architectural, and cultural icon for the neighborhood, the city, and the region.
From St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, with gratitude to author and historian Edward F. Turburg.
Photo courtesy Derick & Christy Photography
Copyright © 2011, The Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
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