Photo credit: Paul Baker Touart , 07/1987

Property Name: St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church
Date Listed: 8/3/1990
Inventory No.: S-79
Location: St. Paul's Church Road, Tulls Corner, Somerset County

Description: St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church is a Gothic Revival frame church and accompanying cemetery surrounded by an early-20th century iron fence. Built in 1848, the church is supported by a common bond brick foundation, and it is sheathed with beveled-edge board-and-batten siding. Attached to the south side of the original church is a single-story congregational hall built in 1962. The west elevation of the church is distinguished by a large Gothic arched light of paired lancet windows surrounded by a field of board-and-batten siding. The north side of the church is evenly divided into four bays marked by narrow lancet windows of colored glass. Attached to the east gable end of the main structure is a slightly shorter single-story apse, and a one-bay by one-bay gable-roofed sacristy which extends to the north on a perpendicular axis. Inside, the church has a combination of plastered walls and plain wainscoting. An exposed scissors roof truss is covered with a layer of whitewash. The sanctuary is furnished with Victorian period pews and lighted by period chandeliers and wall sconces. The choir area between the sanctuary and the altar was reworked in the mid 20th century, and the craftsmen attempted to follow simplistic Gothic Revival motifs. A single-story parish hall was erected in 1962. In an effort to design a parish hall compatible with the church, board-and-batten siding and Gothic Revival motifs were used. Surrounding the immediate church yard is an iron fence that was erected in 1908. The west section of the fence is distinguished by a large entrance gate that has tall iron posts supporting a decorative arched sign with "St. Paul's P. E. Church, 1908" in iron letters and numbers within the arch framework.

Significance: Saint Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church, built in 1848, is significant for its architecture as a remarkably well preserved example of a small, rural gothic Revival church taken from the designs of Richard Upjohn, a prominent mid-19th century architect. Upjohn published a series of designs for rural churches, parsonages, and schools which were copied or adapted widely by many small parishes nationwide. This church is one of nine known examples of this type of religious building still remaining in Maryland. Many more are known to have been built although a complete inventory of those built has never been made. Saint Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church can be compared with Saint Paul's Episcopal Church (1851, National Register) in Hillsboro, Caroline County, and Saint Andrew's Church (1878, National Register) near Sudlersville, Queen Anne's County. Most striking of these Upjohn inspired churches is Saint Michael's Chapel (1854, National Register) in Reisterstown, Baltimore County. Saint Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church is the earliest of this group of nine buildings. The interior of Saint Paul's retains most of the original furnishings and decorative detailing. The building possesses a high degree of integrity of historic character.




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