Praying in Pawtucket

March 23, 2012

Back to my architectural tour! This time we’re in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and our subjects are three churches built around the turn of the previous century. Churches and mills are the largest structures in every town in Rhode Island except for Providence, and for good reason. A church or cathedral that is physically awe-inspiring has a significant affect on those that approach and enter it. I’d imagine this reaction was even greater back before the advent of skyscrapers and the relative ease of modern construction. These three churches are all within a half a mile of each other, which demonstrates how important worship was people at that time.

This is St. Mary’s Church, which was designed by James Murphy, an architect who specialized in churches and designed more than 30 churches throughout New England. This one was built in 1887.

This is St. John the Baptist Church. This is newest (build in 1925) and largest of the three churches.  It has a twin up in Montreal that was built just two years later by architect Ernest Cormier. I wonder if he charged them full price for the exact same design (minus the bell tower)?

Lastly we have St. Paul’s Church, which was build in 1901. I couldn’t find the name of the architect, but this one hides its size somewhat when viewed from the front. This was probably a result of the layout of the property more than deliberate attempt to reduce the magnitude of its appearance.

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One Response to “Praying in Pawtucket”

  1. kimlanowy said

    wow- nothing new for April :/

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