St. Augustine’s Architecture is rich in diversity.
One of many outstanding examples of St. Augustine’s architectual diversity is Memorial Presbyterian Church. According to the church website this is Florida’s first Presbyterian congregation. The church is currently under some renovation projects including some to the sanctuary and the organ.
History of Memorial Presbyterian
“The church was established in 1824 and the present sanctuary was given by Henry Morrison Flagler and dedicated in 1890 as a memorial to his daughter Jenny Louise Benedict who died from complications from childbirth.”
The church building is in the Second Renaissance Revival style and was designed by the New York architectural firm of Carrere and Hastings. Second Renaissance Revival (1890-1915) was characterized by larger and more elaborately decorated buildings in comparison with the First Renaissance Revival (1840-1885). Due to the expensive materials Required construction materials were very expensive due the elaborate style Renaissance Revival construction was best suited for public and commercial buildings and grand homes. One prominent feature that differs between the first and second Renaissance Revival is recessed arched openings which is clearly evident with Memorial Presbyterian Church.
The building was constructed by mixing poured concrete with crushed coquina stone. This construction technique was also used in the construction of the Casa Monica Hotel, as well as Flagler’s Ponce de Leon Hotel and the Alcazar Hotel.
Henry Morrison Flagler was the idea man and chief funding behind Florida’s East Coast Railway as well as the Ponce de Leon Hotel, which is Flagler College today. His life story is interwoven with the history of St. Augustine from the Gilded Age to the present.
Directions to Memorial Presbyterian Church
Memorial Presbyterian Church is located at 32 Sevilla Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084. (on the corner of Valencia and Sevilla Streets)