Architecture and Design
The present church was designed by renowned architect Richard Upjohn, with an eclectic juxtaposition of 12th-century Italian elements on the exterior and Romanesque elements on the interior. The exterior facade features two bas-reliefs of Christ and Moses, executed by the Italian sculptor Antonio Capellano (who also sculpted the statue on the top of the Battle Monument) that were originally part of the façade of the previous Robert Cary Long church. Other elements from the 1817 structure include the walls of the Federal period building, a stained glass window of the risen Christ over the entrance, a marble baptismal font designed by Maximilian Godefroy (who also designed the Battle Monument and the First Unitarian Church), and the Bishop’s chair given to St. Paul’s in 1815.
The church was given a relatively dark Victorian appearance when opened. The Greek columns were painted a sandstone orange, with an elaborate color scheme of brown, red, and yellow ochres dominating the rest of the nave. The chancel was dominated by a black walnut reredos. Stars were painted on the ceiling, and a small stained-glass window of St. Paul stood above the high altar. English Minton tiles adorned the aisles and chancel that complimented the color scheme of the church. An anonymous painting of this interior is still in the possession of the parish.
In 1903, the chancel was renovated to a brighter appearance, in accordance with the tastes of the period. The reredos was moved to the back of the church (where it still stands as a memorial wall), and a new Tiffany reredos was installed with a completely new design for the east wall, including a large window by Helen Maitland Armstrong was installed above the altar, with the St. Paul window moved to the south aisle. The ochres of the 1850s gave way to white faux blocks etched into the nave.
The oldest of the aisle windows date to 1890, but most were installed at the same time as the chancel redecoration. The designers include Tiffany Studios of New York City and Clayton & Bell Studios.
In the 1930s, the faux blocking was removed, leaving only tracery around the windows. The chancel was renovated for cleaning and maintenance in the 1990s. The Parish is currently exploring options for an historic restoration that would restore some of the spirit of the original color scheme while preserving the 1903 renovation.
Read more about this topic: St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Baltimore, Maryland)
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