Grace Episcopal Church, 1865

The Grace Episcopal Church congregation gathered in Windsor in 1842 under the leadership of Rev. Arthur Coxe of Hartford. The first church building was a wooden structure erected in 1845 where St. Gabriel Catholic Church stands today. As membership grew, so did the need for a larger building. The church hired twenty-one-year-old Hartford architect George Keller to design the present structure. Although this building was his first ecclesiastical commission, today Keller is known for designing the 1886 Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park. The cornerstone was laid in 1864 and the church was consecrated in 1865.

The exterior is composed of stone from Portland, CT which was floated up the Connecticut River. Keller labeled the architectural style as "Early English," better known today as Gothic Revival. The pointed arches, trefoils, and flying buttresses are recurring elements throughout the interior and exterior design. The church has undergone some changes since 1865. In 1890, a Parish House was added to the east side of the building and was expanded in 1958. The marble altar was completed in 1907, the gift of the widow of Col. John Mason Loomis, one of the founders of the Loomis Chaffee School. The carved "Madonna and Child" at the west end of the church was added in 1934. It was carved by Evelyn Longman Batchelder, a nationally-renowned sculptor who also carved the World War I Eagle Monument on Broad Street Green. Although many of the stained-glass windows were installed in the late 20th century, the earliest window dates to 1867 and the Tiffany-style window to 1900. Copyright 2015 Windsor Historical Society.


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