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Robert Sands Schuyler

Robert Sands Schuyler, Architect [1830-1895]

Robert Schuyler [†, ‡] was born in Troy, New York in 1830. He served in the Union cavalry during the Civil War and moved to Fairbanks, Florida, in 1878. A devout Episcopalian, he served as a lay reader. Schuyler wished to assist the mission effort in Florida, and in 1880, he designed and supervised construction of three Carpenter Gothic churches for the diocese. They were built in Fairbanks, Waldo, and Earleton. The severely storm damaged Waldo church was demolished in the 1890s. The Fairbanks church was moved to Starke in 1900. St. Mark's in Starke is a fine example of the ecclesiological principles reflected in a Carpenter Gothic church. It demonstrates Schuyler's refined understanding of the Gothic model at the beginning of his career in Florida. In 1881, Schuyler moved to Fernandina, where he built several houses, now listed in the National Register, and St. Peter's Episcopal Church, which was listed in 1973. His brick St. Andrews Episcopal Church in downtown Jacksonville, was described in 1889 as "one of the most satisfying pieces of architecture in the South." The commencement of St. Andrew's construction coincided with the untimely death of Bishop Young, and was dedicated to him. St. Andrew's was listed in the National Register in 1972. Schuyler is also credited with the 1882 St. George's Church on Ft. George Island, and the 1888, St. Paul's Church, built at Pablo Beach.

† Robert O. Jones, Historic Sites Specialist, Florida's Carpenter Gothic Episcopal Churches, nomination document, 1997, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Robert Sands Schuyler, www.beachesmuseum.org, accessed August, 2013