The Nave is our sanctuary, where services are held each Sunday, the center of our life as a community. Our Nave has no pews, allowing us to worship in the round and affirm and strengthen our solidarity as a community. We are able to quickly reconfigure the nave for a variety of uses, including wedding receptions, parties, theatrical productions, fundraisers by community groups, dances, and community celebrations. There are two street entrances, located on A Street SE and on Third Street SE and the courtyard entrance at the end of the walkway along the garden.
The parish offices are located on the second floor of the parish house, above Baxter and are accessible by steps off the main lobby and/or the elevator.
Baxter Hall & Kitchen
Baxter Hall is our hospitality center on Sundays and is in high demand by both parish and external groups for meetings, seminars, theatrical rehearsals, and as a staging area for events in the nave. Located on the east side of the building, with the parking lot just outside its doors or from the courtyard entrance, turn left across the lobby.
Sunday school and multi-purpose classrooms are located in the Undercroft/basement accessible by stairs off the main lobby (turn right) or by the elevator (turn left) at the end of the hallway through a set of double doors with windows.
The Craighill Dance Studio is located on the second floor and is accessible by steps off the main lobby and/or the elevator.
The Verna Dozier Library is located in the Undercroft/basement. Accessible by stairs off the main lobby or by the elevator. Turn right from the stairs and turn left from the elevator and go toward the exit door. The glass door to the Verna Dozier Library is on the left.
Adams, Elders, Rectors, and Penniman Rooms are located in the Undercroft/basement accessible by stairs off the main lobby or by the elevator. These are multi-purpose meeting rooms with the Adams Room, the largest meeting room at the end of the hallway through a set of double doors with windows.
The Cox Music Studio is a sound proof lesson and practice space located in the Undercroft/basement, accessible by stairs off the main lobby or by the elevator.
The Trusheim Nursery for infants and toddlers is located in the Undercroft/basement, accessible by stairs off the main lobby or by the elevator.
The Architecture of St. Mark’s—A Brief Q & A
Q. The building is beautiful—what do you call this style?
A. Well, some insist that it is Neo-Romanesque (or “Richardsonian Romanesque”), the label given to the late Victorian reinterpretation of ancient Italian architecture. And it is true that the rounded interior arches, echoed by both the windows and the massive sandstone altar, support this view. On the other hand, the building has some decidedly Neo-Gothic touches, particularly in its use of stained glass. Regardless of whether it fits any label other than Victorian eclectic, the interior’s restrained elegance—with beautifully crafted details in wood, wrought iron, mosaic tile, and molded brick—set off the jewel tones of the glass artworks.
Q. Where are all your pews?
A. We took them out nearly 40 years ago to reconfigure our space so services could be held “in the round.” The pews were replaced with interlocking chairs, permitting a movable altar to be placed in the middle of the nave. Parishioners now sit facing the altar on all four sides. On rare occasions, the high altar is used for worship. One of a series of crosses, some made by parishioners, hangs above the central altar; the designs change with the liturgical season.
Q. What can you tell me about the big stained glass window?
A. The window over the baptistry dates from 1888 and is one of the oldest and largest stained glass works ever produced by the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The center panel depicts “Christ Leaving the Praetorium” (i.e., the Roman governor’s headquarters) moments after Pontius Pilate washed his hands of the matter. The design is a copy of an original work by 19th century French illustrator Gustave Dore. The abstract border incorporates some Celtic-inspired designs, which Tiffany often favored.
Q. Are the other windows from Tiffany, too?
A. No. The large windows on the ground level are by a German firm, Mayer of Munich, and date between 1888 and 1931. The smaller windows in the clerestory above, which date from 1905 to 1999, include works by Mayer and several American studios. One unfilled window remains, with “temporary” glass now 115 years old.
Q. Is that a fresco painted onto the high altar?
A. No. The painting over the altar was executed by Mayer of Munich on canvas and shipped here to be affixed to the altar. Thanks to the generosity of a group of gay members known as the Lambda Lions, it was restored recently by a parishioner who is a professional art restorer.