Clarke & Howe’s take on late medieval rural English churches shows all the restraint and good taste so appealing to Episcopalians. Howe was the designer in charge of the whole complex: original church (1917), parish house (1925), and sanctuary addition (1946); as a son of an Episcopal bishop of Western Pennsylvania, he was well steeped in both liturgy and architectural form. On the interior, the vocabulary may be Gothic, but the syntax is Colonial Revival, not surprisingly for one of Rhode Island’s greatest practitioners of that style. The detail is absolutely superb, with the reredos designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, the wood carving by Irving & Casson, and the stained glass chiefly by the Goodhue, Wilbur Herbert Burnham, and Reynolds, Francis & Rohnstock shops. The earlier glass was designed in greyed tones more common to early English churches, but by the time the nave was extended two bays to the west in the mid-1940s, the taste in stained glass inclined more toward highly colored French exemplars, so the earlier windows were given brighter glass overlays. In the 1990s, William L. Kite, a parishioner, designed the glass-roof atrium between church and parish house, deftly creating a central circulation spine that makes the whole complex highly accessible. An unknown masterpiece of the early twentieth-century Gothic, the church is a compelling and comfortable presence on the street.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture