Jamison Memorial Church, Formerly Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion

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Update: Other examples of churches that started as smaller sanctuaries on a side street before expanding onto a major artery are Lafayette Park United Methodist Churchand Oak Hill Presbyterian Church.

One of the august churches that gave this portion of Midtown the nickname “Piety Hill,” Jamison Memorial Church is the second congregation to occupy this church. Originally, this was the Episcopal Church of the Holly Communion, which originally built a chapel on the property in 1870, before eventually incorporating that earlier structure into a new, larger church as a modified transept in 1877.

Jamison Church Compton and Dry

Update: The “Sunday School Wing” and house were demolished in December 2016, and were still a weed-choked vacant lot in June 2018.

Interestingly, the already existing Second Empire house was combined as early as 1904 to the church, becoming the Kindergarten of the church. Also of interest, the Sanborn shows that the tower is actually slightly off center. Looking at the old chapel/transept, it clearly shows the original front door, now blocked up.

Jamison Church Sanborn Cropped

By 1936, however, the congregation followed their members and the money west to the new suburbs going up in Central County, and it probably passed into the possession of the Jamison Memorial Church, which had been founded in 1917.

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The north side shows original 1870 masonry incorporated into the later church.

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Other old mansions, probably turned into boarding houses, were demolished for a parking lot.

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But the house next door, with the additions connecting it to the church, has its own story, as well.

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Perhaps owned by 1875 by a Dr. G.S. Walker, and then by a certain John Ludlum, the house was Second Empire style with an interesting Italianate bay window, still preserved.

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But it seems by the 1880s, the house had become a doctor’s office, with Drs. George Morrill and Emory Dixon practicing medicine there by 1888.

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A remnant of a porch is left on the brick, probably originally covering the front door. The thick stucco on the front is of unknown age. Below, the church also apparently owns the lot next door, which were once several houses.

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