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Susan G. Pearl
Chapel of the Incarnation
14070 Brandywine Road (MD 381), Brandywine, Prince Georges County
Period/Date of Construction:
Architect: William J. Palmer
The Chapel of the Incarnation is an L-shaped church building of the Mission style, constructed of poured-in-form concrete covered with a coarse pebble-filled stucco to resemble adobe. It is a one-story cross-gabled building with the entrance through the lower-gabled narthex on the south. Both the fable front of the narthex and of the nave are highlighted by a shaped Mission-style parapet; that of the narthex is surmounted by a cross, while that of the nave is surmounted by an arched bell tower. The nave is four bays long; the window in each bay consists of three slim vertical awning-type windows filled with opaque milky glass. In the lower east corner of the south gable front of the nave is a cornerstone which reads "1916." At the north end of the nave, a two-bay wing extends to the east at right angles. It extends across the back (north) of the sanctuary, and forms a connected parish hall. Its east gable front ends in another shaped Mission-style parapet. Windows in the parish hall wing are of the same opaque milky glass, and of the same three-part awning type as in the nave. The interior is distinguished by original alter balustrade and pulpit, and an ancient stone baptismal font brought from a church in England.
The Chapel of the Incarnation is significant for its architectural character. It is unique in Prince George's County in its application of the early-20th century Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style to an ecclesiastical building. The Mission style may have been deemed appropriate to the church's status as a "mission chapel," or offshoot, of St. Thomas' Church in Croom. The Chapel of the Incarnation is constructed of poured concrete, with a stucco surface resembling adobe, and is highlighted by a shaped parapet and bell tower. Architect William J. Palmer, who had designed numerous residences and churches in Washington, D.C., prepared the plans and specifications for the church and attached Parish Hall. The cornerstone was laid in September 1916, and the chapel opened for services early in 1917.