For the New Contextual Addition to Christ Church on Capitol Square, 120 East Edenton Street, Raleigh
Christ Church is the oldest example of the early Gothic Revival style in the South. One of only three National Historic Landmarks located in Raleigh, it is also the only National Historic Landmark church in all of North Carolina. One of four churches that face Union Square, the original sanctuary was designed in 1848 by Richard Upjohn, architect of New York City’s Trinity Church and the founder of the American Institute of Architects.
Christ Church was officially consecrated in 1854. The adjacent bell tower was completed in 1861 but constructed of different colored stone and topped with an ancient symbol of the church – a gilded weathercock. Hobart Upjohn, Richard Upjohn’s grandson, designed the Chapel and Parish Hall – connected to the sanctuary by arched cloisters – in 1913. The complex has been modified and added on to numerous times over the years, including an education wing added in the 1970s. This evolution over time led to problems of disjointed internal circulation and a lack of high quality public gathering spaces.
One of the first Gothic Revival churches in the American South, today’s congregation recognized the need to expand the facility to meet modern ministry goals while, at the same time, preserving the rich architectural heritage of the church. The current addition’s quiet reinterpretation of Gothic Revival architecture makes it a sensitive expansion of the existing historic structures. The addition houses meeting rooms and a new high-end commercial kitchen but, more importantly, creates a major new entry from the east that serves as a significant threshold into the Capitol Square National Register Historic District running along Blount and Edenton Streets. Redesigned circulation through the existing complex connects the new entry to the iconic bell tower facing Capitol Square. Two generous gathering spaces highlight the intersections of the 1848 church, the 1913 Parish House, and the 1970 education wing. The original exterior granite walls and columns of the church and Parish House were uncovered in these restored interior spaces. Structural glass walls inserted behind existing cloistered arches allow the new gathering spaces to open visually on the significant exterior courtyards at the building’s south and west sides. The Parish Hall was also restored and enlarged to serve larger church and community functions.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2017 Anthemion Award to Christ Church on Capitol Square; Clearscapes, PA; Project Development Services, LLC; Clancy & Theys Construction, Co. for the New Contextual Addition to Christ Church on capitol Square, 120 E. Edenton Street, Raleigh.