Description of Historic Place
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is an 1890 limestone church built in the Romanesque style. It is located at 130 Clergy St. East, on the northwest corner of the intersection of Princess and Clergy Street East, in the City of Kingston.
The property was designated, for its heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, by the City of Kingston, on April 24, 1978 (By-law 9227).
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is strongly associated with the Presbyterian establishment in Kingston. Reverend John Machar, minister of the church from 1827 to 1863, was responsible for the 1841 founding of Queen's College, later Queen's University. Until 1912, the university was formally connected with the Presbyterian Church of Canada and its theological college trained hundreds of members of the Presbyterian clergy. A cannon on the grounds of the church is known as "Shannon's Cannon" after its Irish protestant donor, William Shannon and is associated with the influence of the Orange Order on 19th century Kingston society.
The identity of the architect of the church has been disputed, however the best available evidence is that the design was by the prominent Kingston architect Joseph Power. The church is a Romanesque style building constructed, like many others nearby, of local limestone. Its imposing round arched entrance porch and tall turreted bell tower dominates the corner of Princess and Clergy Streets and forms a local landmark. The church is adjacent to the manse. Together the church, manse and surrounding grounds form a cohesive and harmonious religious institutional landscape in the heart of downtown Kingston. The site was previously the location of the first stone Protestant church in Kingston.
Sources: City of Kingston Heritage Property File CHE-P18-033-2004
Character defining elements that support the heritage value of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church include the:
- essentially square plan
- central hip roof topped by a square lantern
- projecting gables on all four sides of the roof, the south and east gables projecting from the walls of the church as well
- entranceways in both the south and east walls
- construction of pitch faced stone decorated with ashlar trim and granite columns
- Romanesque round arches
- south wall entranceway, consisting of a flat roofed porch, topped with a balustrade, with arched openings on all three sides, each arch supported by columns
- similarity between the arch over the south entranceway and the inner one on the east wall
- large tower at the southeast corner, with a pyramidal roof with bellcast slope and round corner turrets with conical stone tops and Latin crosses
- St. Andrew's cross at the peak of the main tower roof
- small rectangular windows with blind arches above the lintels on both sides of the tower, just above the entranceways
- cornice on the tower, with dentils and decorative up-ended volute at each corner
- clocks on the tower, between the blind arched windows and cornice
- blind arcade below the tower roof, consisting of three openings, engaged ashlar columns and a string course with dentils
- location on a corner lot, contributing to the streetscapes of both Princess Street and Clergy Street East, with its 36.576 metre (120 foot) high bell tower acting as a local landmark
- visual relationship with its surrounding grounds and the adjacent St. Andrew's Manse
- location on the site of the first stone Protestant church in Kingston
- cannon located on the church grounds, known as “Shannon's Cannon”.