Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland, Maine

Formed in 1851, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke was chosen to be the cathedral church for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine in 1866. Its current structure, built in the Gothic Revival style, was designed by Charles Coolidge Haight and completed in 1868. The sanctuary, with its quintessential Gothic Revival elements such as vaulted ceilings and high pointed arches throughout, reflects the philosophical thought associated with Anglo-Catholicism. The parish is particularly fond of the following sanctuary components: the Wright Memorial Rose Window Array (1898) installed above the altar and attributed to the Whitefriars Glass Company; the Incarnation Reredos & High Altar Assembly (1925), designed by Ralph Adams Cram and sculpted by Ernest G. Pellegrini; and the Cathedral’s organ which was designed by Ernest M. Skinner and installed in 1925. Following in the path of modern Episcopalianism, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke’s mission is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Jesus Christ.”

Saint John the Baptist Church, Brunswick, Maine

Founded in 1877, Saint John the Baptist Church was created to serve the French Canadian population in Brunswick and the surrounding area. Designed by Charles R. Greco of Boston, Massachusetts, the church’s current Gothic Revival style structure was completed in 1927. Of particular note are the murals by Giovanni Prampolini depicting Christian symbolism and iconography that reside on the walls and ceiling of the sanctuary. The stained glass windows designed by Zettler Studios of New York complement the paintings, illustrating symbols and stories from the New Testament. The parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Church take great pride in their church, as it “represents the commitment, faith, generosity, and hard work of generations of Catholic people from the greater Brunswick area.”

First Parish Church, Portland, Maine

With roots dating back to 1674, First Parish Church, a Unitarian Universalist congregation, is the oldest house of worship in Portland. The current structure, designed by shipbuilder and architect John Mussey, was completed in 1826 of granite from nearby Freeport and is built in the Federalist style. The church has gone to great lengths to keep the original design intact and using only replacements that are as close to the originals as possible. Much like the congregation’s careful attention to maintaining Mussey’s design, the First Parish Church continues its mission to: “nurture the spirit, grow in community and help heal the world.”

First Parish Church, Brunswick, Maine

Founded in 1717, First Parish Church’s current structure, completed in 1846 and designed by architect Richard Upjohn, is a radical departure from the traditional congregational church design that preceded it. The Gothic Revival design sparked a major shift from “puritan simplicity” that would spread across the country. The Christian Monitor wrote, “It is something of a novelty…yet there is an air of dignity and repose about the whole building, exceedingly appropriate to a Christian temple.”

The Church’s ground-breaking design also acts a metaphor for its many times forward thinking parish. From its inception, First Parish Church had been a place of discussion, debate and reflection. From providing support to the Continental Congress to debating the separation of Maine from Massachusetts to the inspiring moment when Harriet Beecher Stowe on March 2, 1851 in pew 23 envisioned the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which portrayed the evils of slavery, these intangible fragments of First Parish Church’s heritage reflects some of the pinnacle moments in U.S. history.

St. Peter’s by the Sea, Cape Neddick, Maine

Nestled on top of Christian Hill within a densely wooded area of Cape Neddick, which overlooks the Gulf of Maine, resides St. Peter’s by the Sea. Built on the location where open air church services had been held during the summers since 1850, this Episcopal chapel continues the tradition. Consecrated in 1898, the rustic stone and wood structure is built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which draws upon 11th and 12th century southern French, Spanish and Italian Romanesque architecture. Its location is intentional, as the family who bequeathed the land and funded St. Peter’s construction wanted the Church’s cross to be visible to the fishermen at sea.

Our Lady Queen of Peace, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Providing a haven for the Catholic community on the Boothbay Peninsula, Our Lady Queen of Peace has been home to year-round residents as well as seasonal visitors since its dedication in 1926. Its founding parish was a historic mix of immigrants, artists, servants, fishermen, merchants and builders. Stained glass windows honor many of the early families who nurtured Catholic presence in the region.

Inspired by the reliance upon the surrounding sea, its interior takes the shape of an inverted ship’s hull, a symbol of protection. Our Lady’s prominent location near the water provides not only a magnificent view of Boothbay Harbor, but also serves as a beacon for sailors, fisherman and the surrounding community.

The Temple, Ocean Park, Maine

Dedicated to self-improvement, the camp meeting movement in the late nineteenth century gave rise to hundreds of buildings for multipurpose community assembly throughout the United States. However, few survive today. The Temple, originally known as “Way of Truth Temple” was built in 1881 to be used for an array of religious, cultural and educational programs in Ocean Park. Its unusual octagonal design was typical of the time and common for “Chautauqua” sites. The natural wood post and beam interior structure harnesses its visitors underneath its umbrella, solidifying a sense of community, nature and peace of mind.

B.C. Jordan Memorial Hall, Ocean Park, Maine

Primarily an assembly center for theatrical presentation, concerts, and community meetings, the B.C. Jordan Memorial Hall sits beside The Temple, Porter Hall, and the Bell Tower on a small parcel of land called Temple Square in Old Orchard Beach. Jordan Hall’s exterior with its commanding Federal Style facade, contrasts sharply with its warm and unembellished interior. Natural wood planking and exposed structural elements pervade Jordan Hall’s interior from floor to ceiling, embodying its camp meeting movement intent—popular in the late 19th century—focusing on self-improvement in a natural setting.

Congregation Beth Israel, Bangor, Maine

Officially organized in 1888, Congregation Beth Israel is the oldest continually functioning synagogue in the state of Maine. After the first synagogue was tragically destroyed in a fire that swept through Bangor in 1911, Congregation Beth Israel constructed its current house of prayer using steel and reinforced concrete. Dedicated in 1912, the building designed with a Byzantine Romanesque architectural influence reflects the ambiance of Asia Minor, the area the congregation felt was the origins of Judaism. However, physical alterations to the sanctuary metaphorically reflect the congregations’ continued wishes to merge traditional Jewish practice with modern ideas in ways designed to enrich traditional observance.

Our Lady of Good Hope Church, Camden, Maine

Declining work at her employers’ summer cottage in Camden unless she and fellow Catholic staff could attend Sunday mass, the devotion of domestic worker Mary Molloy is remembered to have incited the 1911 construction of Our Lady of Good Hope. Along with the pioneering Catholic families of Camden, her charitable employers, the Albert H. Chatfields of Cincinnati and other summering families united to build the first Catholic Church in Camden. Although Ms. Molloy did not live to see the Carpenter Gothic style church built, she was cherished as the first service remembered her with a high requiem mass.