March 14: Ammi Burnham Young (1874)

In April 1857, Epiphany’s vestry asked local architect Ammi Burnham Young, to prepare plans for a renovation and enlargement of the church. At this point, the building was still as originally built – a plain rectangular structure with a low-gabled roof. In addition to a church renovation, the plan Young submitted envisioned developing the church’s property to include a school building and rectory. The only part of Young’s plan that the vestry approved was the renovation of the church, which included the addition of a new front tower, transepts and shallow chancel. This first expansion of the church took place during the summer and fall of 1857 and was completed at a total cost of $18,500.

Young, a New Hampshire native, learned his trade by studying pattern books and apprenticing with existing architectural firms. His early work with churches, Dartmouth College buildings led to him being chosen to design the Vermont state house, his first monumental work. In 1850, Young entered the competition to design enlargements to the U.S. Capitol. Although a leading contender, his loss was compensated with an appointment as the first Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury. In this role, Young produced designs and specifications for federal buildings across the nation. In addition to Young’s professional relationship with Epiphany, he also made it his church home. The funerals for two of his wives plus his own took place in the renovated church he designed.

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