Church of St. James the Less
The Church of St. James the Less is an historic Episcopal church building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was architecturally influential. As St. James-the-Less Episcopal Church, it is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Historic church
The building was added to the list of National Register of Historical Places in 1974 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985. According to the National Park Service's official Statement of Significance (as of designation, February 4, 1985): "This is the first example of the pure English Parish church style in America, and one of the best examples of a 19th-century American Gothic church for its coherence and authenticity of design. Its influence on the major architects of the Gothic Revival in the United States was profound." The building's remarkable fidelity to Gothic design was accidental. When the congregation applied to its parent group in Cambridge, England, for a set of approved plans for its church, it was inadvertently sent measured drawings, prepared by G. G. Place, of St. Michael's Church in Longstanton, Cambridgeshire, built c. 1230, which were followed in every detail under the supervision of architect John E. Carver. Set on the edge of a hill, north of Mount Vernon Cemetery and east of Laurel Hill Cemetery, the setting for the church is no longer rural. West Hunting Park Avenue, a major artery, is just beyond the churchyard's south wall, and industrial buildings lie to the west. A parish hall was built on the opposite side of West Clearfield Street. The Wanamaker Memorial Bell Tower and mausoleum (1908), designed by John T. Windrim, houses a set of J.C. Deagan tower chimes and a chime of bells by the McShane foundry.

The church and associated school have been closed since 2006, when, after a lengthy court battle, the local Episcopal diocese assumed control of the property. St James the Less had disaffiliated from the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1999 over theological differences, and the diocese sued the parish in 2001 to seize the property. The Pennsylvania courts eventually decided that while the parish owns the property, there exists an “implied trust” in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. In the summer of 2008, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania voted to allow St. Mark's Church, Philadelphia, to adopt the Church of St. James the Less as a mission of St. Mark's. With the assumption of St. James as a mission of St. Mark's a weekly celebration of Mass was resumed on Sundays at 5:00pm. In June 2009, the first City Camp took place, where children aged from 6-12 participated in a Vacation Bible School. A help from St. Francis Episcopal Church (Potomac, Maryland) and St. Mark's Episcopal Church made this event possible. It lasted from June 22, 2009 to June 27, 2009, although members from both churches helped before and after to make it possible.

Notable interments
The surrounding churchyard is the final resting place of several notable people.
  • Chapman Biddle (January 22, 1822 ”“ December 9, 1880) Civil War Union Army Officer.
  • Horace Binney (January 4, 1780 ”“ August 12, 1875) US Congressman.
  • Mark Wilkes Collet (June 2, 1826 ”“ May 3, 1863) Civil War Union Army Officer and physician.
  • James Barnet Fry (February 22, 1827 ”“ July 11, 1894) Civil War Union Brigadier General.
  • Henry K. Hoff (d. December 25, 1878) United States Navy Rear-Admiral.
  • Robert Morris, Jr. (d. August 13, 1863) Civil War Union Army Officer.
  • John Grubb Parke (September 22, 1827 ”“ December 16, 1900) Civil War Union Major General.
  • William Stevens Perry (January 22, 1832 ”“ May 13, 1898) Historian, Author, President of Hobart College and second bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa.
  • Anthony Taylor (Medal of Honor recipient) (October 11, 1837 ”“ May 21, 1894) Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
  • Martin Russell Thayer (1819”“1906) US Congressman for Pennsylvania, 1863 to 1867. State Court Judge in 1867.
  • Benjamin Chew Tilghman (October 26, 1821 ”“ July 3, 1901) Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, inventor of sandblasting.
  • Stephen Decatur Trenchard (July 11, 1818 ”“ November 15, 1883) United States Navy Rear-Admiral.
  • John Wanamaker (July 11, 1838 ”“ December 12, 1922) Businessman, founder of chain of Wanamaker's Department Stores of Philadelphia and New York, founder of Bethany Presbyterian Church and a prominent Christian layman, and Postmaster General of the United States.
  • (Lewis) Rodman Wanamaker (13 February 1863 ”“ 9 March 1928), son of John Wanamaker, philanthropist, artistic benefactor and patron of the Wanamaker Organ.
  • William Halsey Wood (April 24, 1855 ”“ March 13, 1897) Architect, one of four finalists in the competition for the design of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York.

Building Activity

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