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St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Cahaba, Alabama) facts for kids

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St. Luke's Episcopal Church
St. Luke's Church at Cahaba 03.JPG
St. Luke's Episcopal Church at Cahaba in 2010
Location Cahaba, Alabama, United States
Built 1854, moved 1876 & 2006–2007
NRHP reference No. 82002008
Added to NRHP March 25, 1982

St. Luke's Episcopal Church is a historic Carpenter Gothic church, built during the 1850s at Cahaba, the first capital of Alabama from 1820 to 1826. The unknown builder closely followed plans published by architect Richard Upjohn in his 1852 book Rural Architecture.

Exterior features of the Gothic Revival structure include lancet windows, pointed arch doorways and vertical board and batten sheathing. The building originally had a square bell tower on the corner to the left of the current main front entrance, but this was not rebuilt when the church was relocated in 1878 to Martin's Station. The church was disassembled and relocated to Cahaba in 2007, where it was reassembled at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park.

History

St. Luke's was built in 1854, during Cahaba's antebellum boom years, on Vine Street near the intersection of Vine and 1st South Street. Following the post-war decline of Cahaba, the church was dismantled in 1878 and moved 11 miles (18 km) to the village of Martin's Station, where it was reassembled and continued to serve an Episcopal congregation for several decades. It was later used by an African-American Baptist congregation for over 60 years before being acquired by the Alabama Historical Commission. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 25, 1982.

During the academic year 2006–2007, students from Auburn University's Rural Project carefully dismantled the church building so that it could be moved back to Cahaba and reassembled at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park. From 2007 to 2008 the students reassembled the building at Cahaba, near the corner of Beech Street and Capitol Street, across from the Old Cahawba Archaeological Park visitor center. This third new site was chosen due to the original location on Vine Street being located in a floodplain. Most of the exterior work had been completed by late 2009.

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