Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

127-0016 Second Presbyterian Church

Second Presbyterian Church
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2015

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 11/16/1971

NRHP Listing Date 03/29/1972

NRHP Reference Number 72001525

In its endeavor to build a church that would be “the most symmetrical and pleasing to an educated eye,” the congregation of Richmond’s Second Presbyterian authorized a committee to call on the eminent Brooklyn architect Minard Lafever. A set of plans was purchased, and the church was completed in 1848. The resulting work, Virginia’s only Lafever building, is a demonstration of the strength and inspirational quality of the Gothic Revival. The restrained exterior, dominated by a pinnacled tower, contrasts with the lofty interior with its magnificent hammerbeam ceiling. The church was later expanded with the addition of transepts consistent with Lafever’s work. A rear chapel served as a hospital in the Civil War and was redesigned in the early-20th-century by William C. Noland. The Rev. Dr. Moses Drury Hoge, a renowned 19th-century preacher, was pastor of Second Presbyterian from 1845 to 1899. The church also contributes to Richmond’s Fifth and Main Downtown Historic District.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

Updated: September 22, 2021