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Title 22 Elizabeth Street (New Tabernacle Fourth Baptist Church)
Object Type Property File
Scope & Content Constructed 1859; Francis D. Lee, Architect. Charleston's premier Gothic Revival architect, Francis D. Lee, designed a soaring Gothic church for the St. Luke's Episcopal congregation in the Mazyckborough-Wraggborough neighborhood. The Charleston Courier noted at the time of the laying of the cornerstone in May 1859 that the style was to be "Perpendicular Gothic ... peculiarly adapted to our Southern climate." The church was constructed in a Greek cross layout, but the planned 210-foot steeple was never completed. Intended to be stuccoed, the building remained exposed brick with indifferent pointing techniques. Giant lancet Gothic windows with elaborate tracery decorate the gable ends of each point of the cross. On the interior, soaring Gothic vaults resting on quatrefoil columns support the central 55-foot ceiling. The galleries are decorated with Gothic style spindle work and quatrefoil center panels. Damaged by shelling and stripped by Union troops during the Civil War, the barely completed building continued in use by the St. Luke's congregation until 1949. At that time the church merged with St. Paul's in Radcliffeborough and became the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul at 126 Coming Street. New Tabernacle Fourth Baptist Church, founded in 1875 and rebuilt in 1904 under the leadership of the Reverend D. J. Jenkins, founder of Jenkins's Orphanage, purchased St. Luke's in 1950. Most of the detailed elements of St. Luke's Church have been preserved despite the change in congregation, and the building often serves as a popular venue for Spoleto performances.

File contains FOHG building histories (undated, 1992); SCHS(?) building history (1988 house tour); building history from City of Charleston Tour Guide Training Manual; other narrative histories; handwritten staff research "source notes" (scant); newspaper article and documents related to the proposed adaptive re-use of the church as a theater including HCF's position statement.
Subjects Church buildings
Church architecture
Search Terms Elizabeth Street
Mazyckborough and Wraggborough
Churches/Synagogues/Houses of Worship
Physical Description 1 File Folder
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Object ID # ELIZABETH.022.1