17 Rodney Street

VRA Core


17 Rodney Street


St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is a building unlike any other in Falmouth. Its distinctive eight gabled roof with louvered windows and decorative concrete ‘breeze block’ were designed to accommodate the tropical heat of Falmouth. Built to the architectural plans of Father Joseph Maxwell, a former president of Boston College who retired to Falmouth as a parish priest in the 1960s, the church was dedicated in 1966. St. Joseph’s circular plan and free-standing altar were results of the liturgical changes made during the Second Vatican Council to include parishioners directly in the celebration of the Mass. St. Joseph’s is evidence of a Catholic re-consideration of sacred space while its dramatic roofline simultaneously provided Falmouth with a significant Modernist landmark.


Rodney Street District





“17 Rodney Street,” The Falmouth Project, accessed March 22, 2018, http://falmouth.lib.virginia.edu/items/show/941.