Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist
York, Pennsylvania

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Tippetts/Weaver was selected from an elite list of architects to work with the St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in the design of a complicated small addition and reorganization of the campus of this historic church. St. John the Baptist is the earliest Anglican Church west of the Susquehanna River, situated on a relatively tight urban site in downtown York, Pennsylvania. The two-hundred and fifty year old church has evolved into a collection of three primary buildings with several smaller additions, but had no central gathering space and no clear organizational principal, leading visitors or parishioners to the various functions of the buildings.

The challenge for the design team was to reorganize the site, connect the various structures and to provide a clear and understandable organizational parti; making the church more “Welcoming, Accessible and Secure”. The design solution includes a careful reorganization of access to the site and a restructuring of the circulation sequence. Several small additions were added to clearly mark a new entry point and to solve the circulation between the disparate structures on the site.

The final solution knits all the functions of the campus together, while maintaining the historic character of the complex, the intimacy of the site and the sacred aspects of the old sanctuary. The completed project includes new vertical and horizontal circulation elements, a new communal gathering space, upgraded administrative offices, new children’s education areas, an entry court and a new chapel.