UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: TRINITY PARISH CHAPEL 1870's

Monday, December 24, 2012


Original and subsequent owners: The Episcopal Society of Fairfield acquired the corner lot upon which the church and chapel stand from Harriet Dimon on May 22, 1854.
Builders, suppliers: Jelliff & Northrop. The "Chronicle" noted on July 17, 1872, "Messrs. Jelliff & Northrop have contracted to build the new Parish schoolhouse."
Original plan and construction: The Chapel was originally constructed as a free-standing structure. Twentieth century additions have made it a part of the extended church complex. Designed on a simple rectangular navetype plan with a frontal porch and decorative wooden bell cote, the small chapel's board-and-batten siding and modest though strong Gothic details create a composition which is both expressive of the rural church architecture popular throughout the country at mid-century and purely unique to this protected coastal village. The otherwise simple plan is given over to details which inherently possess a sense of upward movement and contribute to the over-all vertical thrust of the building. Most important to the success of the ascending composition is the chapel's finely scaled rectangular shape topped by an expansive, steep pitched roof. Sheathed with vertical boards and punctuated at short, regular intervals by long, slender battens, the materials alone used to cover the chapel's surface direct the eye upward. The four corners of the main block and two exposed comers of the front entrance porch are reinforced by buttresses which are surmounted by steep gables. A complement to the rhythmic evenness of the wooden siding is the predictability of the symmetrical three-bay front facade. Lancet windows filled with quatrefoil stained glass in the pointed arches flank the central porch and lancet-arched doorway. The paneled door is also topped with a quatrefoil: stained-glass transom in the arch. The four windows on each of the side elevations and the two in the rear wall are identical to those on the front. The climax of the chapel's Gothic design is the decorative bell cote with its steep pitched gable roof, set atop the main roof ridge. The end posts of the bell cote are visually, though not structurally, carried through the deep eaves of the front gable; the gable is braced by supportive brackets and trimmed with a sawed openwork vergeboard.
Alterations and additions: The original small wooden stoop in front of the entrance porch was replaced with a concrete stoop, A small brick chimney with decorative corbelling located at the rear of the building was removed when the central heating system was installed. There were originally four lancet windows evenly spaced, on each side elevation, and two in the rear wall. Two windows on each side elevation and those on the rear were removed. When the church extension was constructed, the chapel was simultaneously enlarged at the side and rear, the steep pitched gable roof was lowered, and the original stairway to the basement, built against the chapel's southwest wall, was removed. Sources of Information:

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