Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

122-0008 Freemason Street Baptist Church

Freemason Street Baptist Church
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/06/1971

NRHP Listing Date 09/22/1971

NPS property number 71001057

Philadelphia architect Thomas U. Walter designed this pinnacled downtown landmark for Norfolk’s leading Baptist congregation. A complete contrast to the nearby Greek Revival Norfolk Academy building, also designed by Walter, the lofty church, completed in 1858, is a deftly handled representative of Walter’s essays in the Gothic mode. With its mixture of wood, stucco, stone, and metal, all painted to resemble masonry, the church typifies the Early Gothic Revival’s emphasis on dramatic effect at the expense of truth in materials. The church’s steeple, with its Gabriel’s horn weathervane, was somewhat modified in design after it was blown down in 1879. Urban renewal demolitions in the 1960s removed the church’s surrounding historic neighborhood; however, the area is currently the scene of significant rebuilding. Freemason Street Baptist continues to serve an active congregation.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 4, 2018