Photo credit: Daniel C. Church , Undated Photo

Property Name: Christ Church
Date Listed: 11/12/1975
Inventory No.: CT-40
Location: 3100, Broomes Island Road (MD 264), Port Republic, Calvert County

Description: Facing west, the three-bay-wide Christ Church runs five bays in length on its north and south elevations. The beige stucco covered structure features stained glass in most of the tall paired round-arched sash windows. The west gable-end wall features a gable-roofed porch centered on the middle bay entry, bracketed cornice details, and a gable-roofed bell tower extending from a parapet wall breaking the main roof ridge. The north and south elevations are relieved by a series of stepped buttresses that are paired with perpendicular buttresses at the corners. Round-arched openings on the porch repeat the form of the windows further unifying the structural elements of this buildings, whose present form is clearly the result of several periods of evolution. The entrance porch in the center bay of the west facade features a bracketed return cornice with a finial at the peak, over a round-arched opening. Paired narrow round-arched windows flank the porch, and smaller versions of these occupy the gable above. The front gable is also decorated with a bracketed raking cornice. Pairs of round-arched windows appear between the buttresses on the north and west elevations. The interior of the church has an auditorium plan. The chancel is divided into three parts, with a central barrel-vaulted altar section and flanking arcaded sections to the north and south supported by columns. The ceiling height is lower in the central altar section of the chancel than in the main barrel-vaulted portion of the sanctuary. This demarcation of space is enhanced two steps up to the altar dais, an altar railing with turned balusters and substantial dropped pendant-like wall sections which extend perpendicular from the west wall to the chancel arcade columns. These arched wall sections are terminated by substantial acorn-turned pendills and open to the floor from approximately dado height. The north section of the chancel contains additional choir pews aligned with the north wall and a memorial font of carved limestone with brass detailing. The south section also contains a row of pews and an interior doorway to the vestry/sacristy addition. The fellowship hall, a substantial T-plan gable-roofed brick and cinder block structure, was built in 1958. A garden containing plants with Biblical references is planted adjacent to the hall and has been in place since at least the parish's tercentennial in 1972. The current 1950s rectory is a replacement of the tri-gable L-plan house that stood on approximately the same site.

Significance: Christ Church is significant both historically and architecturally, as the mother Episcopal Church of Calvert County and its oldest continually worshipping congregation and as a fine country church which retains its colonial character. The architectural significance derives from its evolution from the 18th century to the present. The church incorporated the form and fabric associated with 18th century ecclesiastical tidewater architecture. The bell cot and buttresses are drawn from the Gothic Revival. The heavy scroll brackets, window treatment, and plaster covering of the brick walls have 19th century sources, most particularly in domestic architecture; and the stained glass windows reflect the taste of the mid 20th century.




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