St. Luke's Episcopal Church
S of Browns, Browns, Alabama
A historic Carpenter Gothic church, built during the 1850s at Cahaba, the first capital of Alabama from 1820 to 1826.
+32.31973, -87.1041232°19'11" N, 87°06'15" W
Quadrangle map:Blackwell Bend
St. Luke's Episcopal Church is a historic Carpenter Gothic church, built during the 1850s at Cahaba, the first capital of Alabama from 1820 to 1826. The unknown builder closely followed plans published by architect Richard Upjohn in his 1852 book Rural Architecture. Exterior features of the Gothic Revival structure include lancet windows, pointed arch doorways and vertical board and batten sheathing. The building originally had a square bell-tower on the corner to the left of the current main front entrance, but this was not rebuilt when the church was relocated in 1878.
St. Luke's was built in 1854, during Cahaba's antebellum boom years, on Vine Street near the intersection of Vine and 1st South Street. Following the post-war decline of Cahaba, the church was dismantled in 1878 and moved 11 miles (18 km) to the village of Martin's Station, where it was reassembled and continued to serve an Episcopal congregation for several decades. It was later used by an African-American Baptist congregation for over 60 years before being acquired by the Alabama Historical Commission. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 25, 1982.
During the academic year 2006-2007, students from Auburn University's Rural Project carefully dismantled the church building so that it could be moved back to Cahaba and reassembled on the Cahaba State Historic Site. From 2007 to 2008 the students reassembled the building at Cahaba, near the corner of Beech Street and Capitol Avenue, across from the Cahaba State Historic Site visitor center. This third new site was chosen due to the original location on Vine Street being located in a floodplain. Most of the exterior work had been completed by late 2009.
National Register information
- Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 25, 1982
- Reference number
- Architectural style
- Other architectural type; Gothic Revival
- Areas of significance
- Architecture; Religion
- Level of significance
- Evaluation criteria
- A - Event; C - Design/Construction
- Property type
- Historic function
- Religious structure
- Current function
- Religious structure
- Period of significance
- Significant year
- November 29, 2011: New photos from WillyT
- May 25, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added description