Friday, May 27, 2011

Foto Friday - In the Sanctuary

With nearly eighty places of worship, Galveston is so very rich in its religious architecture from the 19th century and each is just as beautiful as the next.

My stop this week, on the way to the beach of course, was the Trinity Episcopal Church. This first picture is that of the Eaton Memorial Chapel, built in a Gothic revival style in 1882 as a memorial to Rev. Benjamin Eaton, who founded the Trinity Episcopal Church in 1841. The two structures sit adjacent to each other and were later connected by the Trinity Episcopal School.

As one of the two oldest churches in Galveston, the Trinity has made it through the tribulations of fire, flood and a number of hurricanes including the great storm of 1900. They eventually raised the building like so many other structures by the same method of  the hand operated jack screws, raising it by 4 1/2 feet.

There was this beautiful old bell where the school joined along side of the building.
I'm not sure if it was in working order, but there sure was a part of me that wanted to try!

Here you can see where the Chapel and the school meet, with the school being built with brick that was similar to the original Church.

This is the front of the church and these doors certainly do not prepare you for what you'll find inside. While I was taking pictures a gentleman asked if I had ever been inside and he gave me directions on how to get into the sanctuary. He wanted me to view the stained glass windows from the inside - and it took my breath away!

The sanctuary has 20 stained glass windows, of which many were made by extraordinary stained
glass designers such as McCausland Studios of Toronto, Jacoby of St. Louis, O. Smith Studios of Bryn Athyn and J.R. Lamb of New York. The one below, by Robert McCausland is called the Presentation.

The pictures really don't do them justice....they were breathtaking beautiful! Trying to
capture the gorgeous light and colors of the glass was difficult, especially without my tripod!

After I had been inside for a short time, that same gentleman came in eager to share something with me.
You see this window is one of two that are very special and as such, quite priceless as they were done
by Tiffany's of New York and it features the opalescent glass that Mr.Tiffany was so famous for.
It's called the Angel of the Resurrection.

No, the red doors on the outside surely do not indicate the opulence that you'll find on the inside. The ceiling
is all done in rich darkly stained wood, and they still retain the original handmade pews that in the early days they rented out to families to help pay for church expenses.

The other Tiffany window is the one here at the alter called Sealy Altar Window, and is also signed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Because of its size and the fact that it has remained in tact for over a hundred years it's pretty rare. Although during hurricane Ike in 2008, only a few pieces of glass from one of the panels in the window survived. They found all the pieces on the floor of the alter which the restoration company in Minnesota had to painstakingly sort into groups of color and texture - it took them a year and a half to complete that panel in the window!!

After a short time a woman came in and turned on the lights for me! 

This is the back of the church and up on the second story balcony you can see just a few of the 4,086
pipes which are made of various metals and woods that accompany their 69-rank organ. Wouldn't you
just love to be in there on a Sunday morning!

Just look at how those windows glow!

This is indeed a treasure and I'm very thankful that I was invited in.

There are many places of refuge sanctuaries,
where you can hide and feel protected, and surrounded
by what you value most. You just need to make sure you get yourself there...
...wherever that might be.

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend!

Love, Kim


PS said...

79 to go. I can't wait.

L said...

Beautiful Kim!

Anonymous said...

Great shots dear Kim!
Happy weekend, kisses.

mosaicmom said...

Very nice! Have we seen the red doors before in a previous foto friday? I LOVE the picture of the bell. I'm amazed at how much information you gather. Where did you learn all this?

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you! The red doors that you are thinking about from a previous post are from the Grace Episcopal Church - I think I have to go back to get the inside of that one now!! And the gentleman who directed me inside gave me a lot of information to my many questions.

I did forget to add that Rev. Benjamin Eaton, the founder of the church is buried under the alter!!

Teachinfourth said...


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