Paula Stoner Dickey
St. Mark's Episcopal Church - Lappans
18313, Lappans Road (MD 68), Boonsboro, Washington County
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Lappans, is enclosed by a stone wall and surrounded on its eastern, southern, and western sides by a cemetery of 173 markers. The original portion of the church is rectangular in shape, with two-foot-thick walls, 17 feet high, constructed of rough-cut native limestone. More smoothly cut limestone corners give the impression of quoins on the north façade. Mortar joints, once raised, are now, for the most part, worn flush to the limestone. The pointed, Gothic Revival style roofline is finished with fire-retardant cedar shingles most recently replaced in 1996. Entrance to the church is made through a centrally located north-facing wood portico covered with a wood construction Gothic Revival roof of a pitch to match the main structure. The portico is supported by two limestone pilasters measuring 7'2" in height, 2 feet in thickness and 4 feet in depth. The original wood door is attached to the jamb by two black iron HL hinges, 2.5 inches in width and 12 inches in length. Two limestone steps and one concrete step in front of the portico provide access to the nave. A single stained-glass window of equilateral triangle shape is located above the door as a stationary transom thus completing the Gothic or "pointed" style of the doorway. The east and west façades are pierced with similar Gothic Revival style stained-glass windows, three on each side. One of those on the west façade bears alternating green and translucent diamond shapes. Centrally located in the southern chancel façade is a single stained glass window in the pointed-arched or "Gothic" style. To the east, the 1975 sacristy-work area, is pierced by two windows on each of the east and west façades. The sacristy is constructed with matching rough-cut native limestone facing over a more modern cinder block interior construction. The sacristy communicates directly with the chancel through the original exterior door and vestibule. A small portion of the original shed roof to the vestibule is observable on the east façade. A single chimney, not the original, is located on the southwestern corner of the church and rises approximately 8-9 feet above the eaves. The steeple, located on the north peak of the church roof, rises another 12 feet and includes the original bell and electronic carrillon. The sides and roof of the steeple are shingled in material identical to the roof.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church is significant for its architectural character, exemplifying the influence of the Ecclesiological movement in the design of Episcopal parish churches in rural Washington County, Maryland. In the 1840s, the Cambridge Camden Society (later the Ecclesiological Society) began an active campaign to promote the Gothic style associated with medieval English parish churches as the model for Anglican/Episcopal houses of worship in America. In its form and detailing, and in its masonry construction (utilizing the native limestone characteristic of the vernacular architecture of Washington County in the period), St. Mark's Church reflects the influence of Ecclesiological principles.