BUILDING HISTORY

The Virginia Street Church, in located in St. Paul's historic Cathedral Hill neighborhood, was designed by 19th century American architect, Cass Gilbert.  Gilbert's works spanned the country from New York to Washington and he's been referred to as "the father of the modern skyline" due to the many skyscrapers he designed in several major cities.  His works, of which there are hundreds,  included government buildings, art and university buildings, office and bank buildings as well as residences and churches.  For more information on this productive architect please visit http://www.cassgilbertsociety.org  

 

 Cass Gilbert, Architect

Cass Gilbert, Architect

The Virginia Street Church was constructed in 1886 for a local Swedenborgian congregation. Today, over 125 years later, this shingle-style edifice is still home to the same denomination of Christian theology, based on the writings of 18th century visionary, Emanuel Swedenborg.  

In designing the structure, Gilbert incorporated tenets of Swedenborgian theology, exemplified in the use of unhewn fieldstone providing the decorative foundation surrounding the building. Unhewn stone, according to Swedenborg interpretation of scripture, represents God's Divine Truths and upon which we as humans are to build our framework of belief and understanding. 

 Ink drawing by artist Peggy Selander © 2013

Ink drawing by artist Peggy Selander © 2013