Rock Hill United African Presbyterian Church

Rock Hill
St. Louis County

Nominated alongside “Fairfax House”.

Fairfax House has been carried over on the list from previous lists; this year a situation has arisen that presents a new threat to this historic site, which is the reason why the nomination has been included with the Rock Hill Presbyterian Church.

Fairfax, also known as the James Collier Marshall House, is a center hall Greek Revival home, also known as an “I House.”  Completed in 1841, the home was named for Mr. Marshall’s former home town, Fairfax Virginia.  The 1845 church building was actually built by Mr. Marshall and was the first church in the region, serving several adjacent communities.  Originally built in a vernacular Greek Revival style, the church is among the oldest in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  Membership was seen to decline and the church finally closed its doors in 2005.

After being moved several times because of increasing commercial and residential development, the Fairfax House has ended up on another former Marshall property.  In February 2010, it was discovered that the Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery was seeking to sell the Rock Hill Presbyterian Church, presenting a threat to the historic church building and an additional threat to Fairfax House.  This property is now situated at the intersection of two busy St. Louis county roads.  It is a target for commercial development as the City of Rock Hill, which does its own zoning and has no current historic preservation ordinance, has zoned this property “commercial.”

Listed in 2010 and 2011.

Update: The Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery sold the property on which these two building sits in 2010. The City of Rock Hill granted permission to Fenton-based UGas to construct a gas station on the current site of these two landmarks soon after. UGas agreed to move the Fairfax house, but not the church, and gave locals one year in which to find a new owner. The group was unable to raise the funds necessary to move the church in the short time allowed. It looks now like Fairfax will be moved to city-owned property elsewhere, and that the church will probably be destroyed and its building stone reused for a chapel at a winery near Foristell, Missouri.

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