St. George's Catholic Church

Building Description

The rectangular building faces north on its small lot, which sits on Town Highway 25 in the village of Bakersfield. Three buildings to the west of St. George's Catholic Church separate it from an intersection of Town Highway 25 and Vermont Route 108. Across the road from St. George's Church lies a cemetery, and to the west of the cemetery is a village green, separating it from Route 108. To the east of the building is roughly four acres of open land, owned by the town. To the southwest of the building is a small, wooded area. Town Highway 25 continues downhill to the east of St. Georgeís Church. Small dirt parking lots flank the building and are adjacent to the road.

The 3 x 5 bay rectangular, gable-front, common bond brick building is two and a half stories tall, was built in 1840 as a Greek Revival structure, and was remodeled c.1905 with Gothic Revival features. The building has a stone foundation and is covered with a standing seam metal roof, which has a wooden cornice return and a wooden belfry. A one and a half story addition (c.1905) that extends from the rear facade has a hipped roof with a central hexagonal dormer facing south. The brick veneer and fieldstone foundation of the entire building has been painted red.

Interior of belfry, St. George's Catholic Church.

The central entrance has two concrete steps leading to the recessed rectangular opening with a double door. Each paneled wood door contains three tall, thin lights in the upper half of the door and one panel in the bottom half of the door. Above the double doors is a six-light transom that fills the remainder of the recessed entry, with two diagonal braces in the upper corners.

Fenestration consists of tall, narrow pointed-arch, colored stained-glass windows in the Gothic Revival style. These windows extend through the two stories on the eave sides. Uneven bricks give evidence of masonry repair that must have occurred during the change from two stories of 12/12 Greek Revival windows to a single row of tall, narrow Gothic-style windows that span two stories. On the gable-front is a quatrefoil stained-glass window in the window peak, and there are three pointed-arch, stained-glass windows, similar to, but shorter than those on the eave sides, in the second story. There are no windows in the first story of the north facade. The south facade of the main portion of the building has one 12/12 window that is positioned off center and above the rear addition. A small, pointed-arch, stained-glass window is visible near the top of the south facade of the addition.

The clapboarded belfry is slightly recessed and has two stages. The first stage is separated from the second stage by molded wooden trim. The second stage has tall, rectangular, louvered openings on each side. This stage is separated from the belfry's bellcast metal roof by molded wooden trim, and the entire belfry is topped by a cross. A small brick chimney is located on the west side of the roof, in the middle and toward the eave.

The floor plan of St. George's Catholic Church is rectangular, with a smaller, 15' x 40' rectangular addition on the rear side. The entrance hall is a small, carpeted room with plaster walls and ceilings that are painted white. Wood-paneled doors, with two simple, recessed panels, lead to small, similar-sized rooms on either side of the entrance hall. These rooms have wood flooring, white plaster walls and ceilings, and the bottom portions of one of the pointed-arch, stained-glass windows visible on the exterior. The room to the right of the entrance hall appears to have been used as a coat room, as indicated by a row of hooks around the room. This room also contains a wooden staircase along the west wall that leads to the second floor. The south side of the entrance hall contains a set of double wood-paneled doors leading to the sanctuary.

The sanctuary space is two stories tall, after the removal of most of the second story during remodeling in 1905. The entire space is carpeted with multi-colored commercial carpeting (after 1976), which continues from the entrance hall. Molded wooden baseboards surround the bottom of all walls, and above this, walls and ceiling are continuously covered in pressed metal that has been painted white. What appears to be braces in the timber frame structure at the top of this space are evident, but are also covered in pressed metal. The pointed-arch windows have a tall, rectangular section with 12 panes of multi-colored stained-glass, two wide and six high, and are topped by an arch with two smaller arches inside. These panes of opaque glass, which are varying shades of green and orange, are separated by wooden muntins and surrounded by wood sash and frames. Only four of these are visible in the sanctuary, on each eaveside.

Pressed metal, interior of St. George's Catholic Church.

The sanctuary space is void of furniture. Discolored areas on the carpet indicate the locations of pews that have been removed. Small furnace returns are located along the eaveside walls, and one large furnace return is in the center of the floor. Four lighting fixtures hang from the pressed-tin ceiling over the areas where the pews were formerly located. These light fixtures consist of a single, white glass bulb suspended from the ceiling by a link chain. On the north side of the room and to the left of the entrance, three small confessionals are built into the wall.

A pointed-arch opening on the rear side of this space reveals a recessed altar area. This is the one-story addition, visible on the exterior of the building. Three steps lead up to this recessed space from the sanctuary, and the space is carpeted like the sanctuary. Walls are plastered, and a small pointed-arch, stained-glass window is at the top of the south wall. Two small rooms flank this recessed space, and are accessed through wood paneled doors on either side. The rooms have wood floors, and plaster walls and ceilings.

The only remaining portion of the second story of the original Greek Revival structure is a balcony located along the north side of the building (above the entrance). This balcony is accessed by a wooden staircase located along the west wall of the small room to the west of the entrance. The wooden steps of the staircase are painted gray. Five steps ascend in a southerly direction to a landing. After the landing, eight steps ascend in an easterly direction to the balcony. The stair rail and balusters are turned wood that has been stained a dark brown color. The balcony has a wood floor that has been painted gray; a section of the floor approximately two feet deep is raised roughly one foot along the north wall.

What appears to have been the original stairway to the attic floor has been boarded up and covered with tin, except for a small square access space. The attic has a small room on the north side with access to the bell in the cupola. A two-paneled wood door provides entrance to the remainder of the attic space. This shape of this room is defined by the roof timbers that produce diagonal sections on the ceiling. The room was originally plastered. Portions of this plaster remain on the walls except for the rear gable end, which is an exposed brick wall with a 12/12 window. Most of the plaster has deteriorated, and the wooden lath is visible underneath. The timber framing of the roof is visible through large spaces along the eave sides.


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