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Episcopal Church of St. Luke & St. Matthew
Clinton Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
In the last decades of the 19th century the city of Brooklyn developed into one of the largest and wealthiest urban centers in the United States. The affluence of the city was reflected in the size and quality of the buildings erected in its residential neighborhoods during the last quarter of the century. Substantial mansions and rowhouses were erected throughout Brooklyn, but even more important as symbols of the city's established success were grand public monuments such as clubs, schools, philanthropic and cultural institutions, and, most importantly, churches. St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church, built in 1888-91 on Clinton Avenue, one of Brooklyn's most elite thoroughfares, is among the largest and finest of the ecclesiastical structures built in the city during the 19th century, and, like the other major buildings from the period, it reflects a sense of optimism in Brooklyn's future.
One of the more unusual features of St. Luke's is the use of six carefully modulated masterial on the. facade, These varieties of rough and smooth stone and terra cotta serve to create a subtle drama on the building. The church has a soft grayish cast enlivened by stone details in brown and white and ornate gray terra cotta. Splashes of brighter color mark the entrances to both the church building and the chapel and Sunday school structure. These entrances are flanked by columns of pale reddish Scotch granite. The twin columns that support the round corner towers of the main church were said to have been the largest blocks of Scotch granite ever imported into this country,^
The first phase of construction, dating from 1888 to 1889, included the chapel and Sunday school building paid for by Colonel Martin and the two-story cloister that links the church and chapel. This section was financed by the. congregation of St, Luke's. The chapel is a two-story, peaked-roof structure anchored by a tall square tower with a pyramidal roof. The building is entered through a recessed, triple-arched porch supported by columns of Scotch granite. The carved capitals of the central columns are in the form of female heads that are supposed to be. portrait busts of Col. Martin's deceased daughter.
These capitals are carved of light-colored stone-and are the focal point of the entrance porch. Recessed behind the porch is the entrance to the building with its paneled double doors and pairs of stained-glass windows. Above the porch are three tall, narrow, round-arched windows separated by attenuated colonnettes with capitals carved with religious symbols. A round-arched corbelled cornice that culminates ir- a niche once capped by a cross runs along the roofline of the building. Welch's original plan, called for a series of small round-arched windows ir this area rather than the blind arches now present. These windows were undoubtedly removed from the plans when Welch was requested to simplify the design.
The beautifully modeled tower of the chapel is based on the campanile bell towers found on Italian Romanesque churches, and it is a sophisticated essay it; the use of round arches. Excluding the roof, the ivy-covered tower is divided into four levels; a battered base with a single round-arched opening; a tall second level articulated by long narrow arches J a short intermediate stage that rises above the roof of the chapel and if? surrounded by a continuous arcade of tiny arches resting on dwarf columns; and an open belfry with paired arches on each face. A corbelled cornice above the open arches supports the steep sloping roof.
The chapel is connected to the main sanctuary by a two-story cloister. On its first floor level, this cloister is supported by an arcade of four arches, two of which are open and lead to an entrance and two of which are enclosed. This arcade continues the line of the arched chapel entrance and visually links it to the entrance portico of the church. The second floor of this connecting element is rigidly symmetrical, with a pair of centrally-placed rectangular windows enframed by narrow colonnettes of white-colored stone. This group of windows is flanked by crisply-cut rectangular openings. A particularly deep corbelled cornice runs along the roofline of the cloister. Welch's original design called for a small gable with a wheel window in the center of the cloister, This gable would have echoed the form of the hapel and church roofs and added a further visual link between the two sections. Undoubtedly the gable was removed from the plans when the vestry requested that Welch lower the construction costs.
In 1889 construction began of the main church. When it was completed in 1891, Clinton Avenue was graced by one of New York City's finest ecclesiastical monuments. The sanctuary is entered through an impressive projecting round-arched portal supported by clustered columns of Scotch granite. This portal, with its wide central arch and flanking narrow arches, is in the form o
Vintage Japanese Kerosene Lantern
This Winged Wheel No. 400 kerosene lantern was made in Japan and is complete with original glass globe, burner, and fuel cap bearing the winged wheel logo. Its bright red finish is sure to light up any room, whether used as a decorative piece or a functional lantern! Set it on a table, hang it by a door or a window, indoors or out (they are perfectly safe to use indoors with proper ventilation). The small size makes it neither too obtrusive nor the center of attention, so it's a terrific accent to any style.
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