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Union Baptist Church, Estherville, IA

Estherville is an Iowa community of slightly less than 6,000 people but its architectural heritage is rich, perhaps because there was a resident architect, J. S. Cox. I don’t know that he designed Union Baptist, but some of its brick detail are similar to those on the Christian church, which is by Cox.

Mignon Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL

The second of three buildings, the small Baptist congregation at the northern edge of Sylacauga moved into this building circa 1918. Not sure when it disappeared. There are a series of this “Greek Cross” type across the South, most of them by architect C. W. Bulger. This is the simplest of them bu clearly identifiable as a Bulger design.

Christian Church, New London, MO


Christian Church, Spencer, IA

Iowa has a number of crisply detailed churches, vaguely Classical Revival yet not. Sibley and Storm Lake are of this sort (if memory serves, which it often does not).

Presbyterian Church, Vandergrift, PA

Vandergrift is one of those Pennsylvania towns whose rich heritage of church architecture dates from more prosperous times. Just three blocks from this beauty another of Vandergrift’s churches is vacant and for sale: $75,000.

Congregational Church, Ames, IA

As a college town, I wonder if this building still stands or was substantially outgrown years ago. This is one of the rare cases where an interior view is available for comparison with exterior massing, entry locations, etc. I have a suspicion, if the photographer had aimed just a little bit more to the left, all my questions would be resolved.

Presbyterian Church, Portage, WI

The poster child for picturesqueness, Portage Presbyterian Church (they dropped “First” long ago) is substantially intact, for which the congregation deserves our thanks. I’ve seen those “boxed” eaves somewhere else; they may be a clue to finding the architect. The massing, however (not the detail) seems very much like L. B. Valk, though I doubt it’s his.