Designed in 1888 by the prominent Providence architectural firm of William R. Walker & Son, architects of the Cranston Street Armory, this Gothic Revival style building occupied the entire lot at the corner of Eddy and Oxford streets. The church was a prominent landmark in its neighborhood and was one of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic ecclesiastical design in Providence.
By the nineteenth century the Episcopal Church had become an integral part of New England’s cultural landscape despite discrimination and even persecution in colonial America. Established in 1864, this Episcopal congregation initially erected a frame chapel opposite the site in 1867.
After serving the South Providence community for many years, the church suffered due to the dwindling congregation in the later half of the twentieth century. The small congregation continued to sponsor a variety of social programs for area residents even after financial strain finally forced the church to close its doors in 1981. What money was available was allocated to these services and little was budgeted for the preservation of the deteriorating building.
The building was later occupied by the Church of God in Christ Jesus and had been vacant for several years when it was first featured on the Most Endangered Properties List in 1999. It continued to suffer from deferred maintenance, neglect and water penetration. The church’s stained glass windows were removed, including the important north aisle window designed by Cox, Sons, Buckley & Co. of New York.
This property was listed on the 1999, 2002 and 2003 Most Endangered Properties List. It was cited with numerous code violations and the subject of a lawsuit over ownership of the building. Due to public concern about the safety of the structure, the City of Providence cited it for its hazardous condition in the summer of 2003.
LOST: Despite efforts by the Providence Preservation Society, local advocates and city officials, the building was demolished in January, 2006.