CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
West Freemason Street at Cumberland Street, Norfolk
Built 1828; demolished 1973
Photograph: William Edmund Barrett for
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
The parish of Christ Episcopal Church traced its origins to c. 1637. The building pictured here, designed by Levi Swain,
served the Episcopalians until 1910 when the parish combined with St. Luke's Church and built the stately Gothic Revival
Christ and St. Luke's Church on Olney Road. A Greek Orthodox congregation then worshiped in Swain's building for
a number of years. Between 1955 and 1960 it served as one of the numerous "heavens" of the flamboyant black religious
leader Sweet Daddy Grace. It was during this time that the exterior columns were patriotically painted red, white, and
blue. The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority purchased the church in 1960 as part of the city's massive
urban renewal program. The authority turned a deaf ear to preservation interests and demolished the building in 1973.
Although the church was declared structurally unsound, the nave floor did not give when a bulldozer drove across it.
Next: First Presbyterian Church