McPherson Design Group logo
  • St. Paul Church 1

    St. Paul Church 1

  • St. Paul Church 2

    St. Paul Church 2

St. Paul’s Catholic Church

Portsmouth, Virginia (circa 1898)

McPherson Design Group completed field investigation and contract documents for the renovation to the interior of the Church, as well as the steeple. We also assisted with the restoration of the barrel-vault roof in the sanctuary that had deteriorated by providing contract documents to restore/stabilize. Other projects include field investigation and a Study/Report on the Rectory Building to determine the extent of renovations to this building and a rough cost estimate of repairs, as well as a full inspection of the Church structure, which included structural, roof, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing evaluation, and contract documents for renovations/repairs.  Our most recent project is coordination of the new slate roof and renovations to the Annex and Rectory.  Early records of St. Paul’s are sketchy, both because the congregation was small and because of two church fires in the 1800s in which property and many church records were lost. Much of what we know comes from a variety of secondary sources and from the reminiscences of early congregants.  Construction on the present building, the fifth St. Paul's on this site, began in 1898 and continued to completion in 1905. The attached rectory was added in 1913.  The Church is a Gothic Revival style, with concrete weight-bearing curtain walls and a slate roof supported by iron beams. Features include a two-hundred-foot-high copper sheathed steeple with a 3500-pound bell cast by McShane Bell Foundry in Glenn Burnie, Maryland, which was cast using remnants of the bell damaged in the 1897 fire.