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St. Francis of Assisi Church,

 Staunton

St. Francis Assisi, Staunton, façade

St. Francis Assisi, Staunton, façade

St. Frances Assisi, Staunton, interior

St. Frances Assisi, Staunton, interior

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Staunton, designed by local architect T. J. Collins, is a late or second Gothic Revival style building inspired by thirteenth century English and French Gothic models. It was built 1895-1897, and although it has been renovated several times, the original design is well-preserved. The walls are constructed of Pennsylvania ashlar green stone, sometimes said to honor the Irish origin of the congregation. Two asymmetrical towers and a large rose window dominate the façade.

The rose is inscribed in a pointed arch similar to the arched main portal, which is recessed with cast foliate decoration in the archivolts. The larger left hand tower is opened up with interlace arched tracery. The interior consists of a wide nave and aisles with elaborate ribbed groin vaulting. The nave vaulting appears English because of the ridge rib running down the center. With the removal of the inner colonettes supporting the aisles vaults, the vaults terminate in gilded bosses, as pendant vaults used in Perpendicular style English Gothic churches. The choir has a polygonal apse and multiple moldings defining the sections of the pumpkin half-dome.

Paige Ramsey