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St. John's Church

St. John’s Episcopal Church

Hampton, VA (circa 1728)

Founded in 1610, St. John’s Episcopal Church is known as the “oldest English speaking parish in America.” The first parish site was built in Hampton just three years after Jamestown Settlement. Though the congregation remained in Hampton, the church was relocated three times before the present-day building was erected in 1728. The church was heavily damaged by the British in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. In August of 1861 the rebel troops, under the command of General Macgruder, burned the church in order to keep it from the Union troops’ possession. The bell and steeple were destroyed and only the blackened walls remained. The inside of the church was rebuilt shortly after the Civil War ended, but the steeple was never rebuilt. McPherson Design group was hired in 2010 to complete a structural investigation of the building.  Our report found that several important structural members had been compromised during renovations that had been completed in the 1980’s. Areas of the first floor framing were also a concern. In 2012, McPherson Design Group provided the structural design and construction administration for the reshoring of the first floor, the reframing of the tower to support new mechanical units and a one-story, 73 square foot addition to the North side of the building.