Grace Episcopal Church
Located in the heart of Madison, on the western side of the Capitol Square, Grace Episcopal Church is the oldest church in the city. It opened its doors for worship on February 14, 1858. The architectural concept belongs to James Douglas, a Milwaukee-based architect with a refined, somewhat eccentric taste, sought after for his unconventional, fairy-tale inspired designs. Grace’s design, in particular, follows the 19th-century trend of English Gothic Revival.
In 1885, the Welsh-American architect David R. Jones, collaborating with a Chicago firm, redesigned the interior. The ceiling was lowered, and stained-glass windows were added, including an original English-made Resurrection window. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the Baptistry window, which dates from 1899. A second bay window was added in the 1920s. The chapel, which now faces Carrol Street is from the same year.
In 1976, the church became part of the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in art, architecture, and religion. Two US presidents, Grover Cleveland and Harry Truman worshiped at Grace, and the famous American artist Georgia O’Keeffe was baptized here on August 31, 1888.
A curious feature of Grace Church is the famous red door, which has become a favorite luck-bringing background for the album pictures of newly wed couples in Madison.
Find more about Grace Church here.