Date of Award

Fall 1989

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Betsy Fahlman


While St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church and Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church are dissimilar in origin, religious practices, and architectural style, when taken together, their periods of construction in their respective revival styles span and define an important era in Norfolk, Virginia's urban history.

Original research in the sparse records of several Catholic parishes identifies the previously known name of the architect of St. Mary's church. The study also offers additional information on that church's stained glass window.

The author presents the heretofore scattered history of Epworth Church in chronological order. The study develops new information concerning one of the church's architects as well as the apparently unacknowledged reuse of Epworth's floor plan in another Tidewater Virginia church. The identity of the studio responsible for one of the previously unattributed stained glass windows is documented.

There is also a discussion of the reaction of the two church congregations to the social, economic and demographic problems visited upon downtown Norfolk since the 1960s.