Photo credit: Orlando Ridout V , 05/1978

Property Name: St. Andrew's Episcopal Chapel
Date Listed: 9/7/1984
Inventory No.: QA-179
Location: Church Street (MD 313) & Maple Avenue, Sudlersville, Queen Annes County

Description: St. Andrew's Chapel is a small board-and-batten frame church constructed in 1878, oriented on a north-south axis, and divided into two principal parts: a large rectangular sanctuary 3 bays long and 2 bays wide with a steeply pitched gable roof, and a slightly smaller but similarly proportioned chancel, two bays long and one bay wide, which projects from the south gable of the sanctuary. A small entrance vestibule with a wide Gothic-arched double doorway is located at the north end of the west facade, with its steep gable roof at right angles to the building. Stained glass lancet windows define the longitudinal bays of the sanctuary and chancel; the north gable of the sanctuary has a pair of stained glass lancet windows on the first floor, and a circular stained glass rose window in the upper gable. The south gable of the chancel features a triple stained glass window with Gothic tracery. The building is clad in board-and-batten siding and rests on a continuous brick foundation; the roof is covered with wood shingles. A small open bell cote is located at the peak of the north gable. The interior retains all its original architectural features and furnishings, and is dominated by a soaring exposed truss roof with angled cross bracing at the apex. Chamfered vertical posts divide the plastered interior walls into bays. Gothic pews are arranged on either side of a center aisle, and a pair of lecterns flank the chancel arch. The chancel holds the choir pews and organ; the altar rests below the triple window in the south gable, behind the communion rail with delicate turned balusters and arched spandrels supporting a simple railing. A frame parish hall was added in 1953, extending from the south end of the east facade; this addition reflects a sensitivity to the scale and materials of the original building.

Significance: St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is significant for its architecture, as a remarkably well preserved example of a small, rural board-and-batten Gothic rural parish church. In 1852, Richard Upjohn published a series of designs for such rural churches, parsonages, and schools which were copied or adapted by many small parishes nationwide. This church is often compared with St. Paul's Episcopal Church (1851; National Register) in Hillsboro, Caroline County, and is generally associated with approximately half-a-dozen other churches across the state of Maryland which owe their basic design to Upjohn. Most striking of these is St. Michael's Chapel, built in 1854 in Reisterstown, Baltimore County. Although St. Michael's is slightly longer than St. Andrew's--the result of a 1928 remodeling which lengthened the chancel of St. Michael's from two bays to three--the two buildings are otherwise quite similar inside and out. The interior of St. Andrew's is perfectly preserved, and retains all of the original furnishings. The building possesses a high degree of integrity; the only significant alteration was made in 1953, when a parish hall was constructed to the east of the church adjoining the chancel. This was done with a sensitive eye to the scale and materials of the church and does not interfere with the original building.




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