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Church of Christ, Viroqua, WI

January 20, 2015

CoC Viroqua

With apologies to 2dogtreasures, whose image I’ve borrowed, the former Church of Christ in Viroqua, Wisconsin is a case study in how the A-A database accumulates new examples.

This past Saturday happened to be my birthday and three friends came from out of town to help the rest of us celebrate. Richard Kenyon drove from his home in Connecticut, stopping at several sites along the way to photograph a handful of obscure 19th and early 20th century buildings. He’s doing the same thing on the way home and telephoned this afternoon to report on some Prairie School houses in Viroqua, WI, and—oh, by the way—there’s this church at Washington and Jefferson that looks as though it might have been a worthy “Shingle Style” building earlier in its history. He thought it had been a Church of Christ.

Google is silent about a CofC building at that location; instead, it is shown as the Believers Fellowship Church (non-denominational). Further googling puts that congregation at a different address, however, and the former church now seems to be occupied by The ARK, a community culture center featuring theatre and art classes. The disappointing street view sent me to eBay, where I found the RPPC postcard shown above.

Church_Believers_Fellow

Armed with new information and growing enthusiasm—from the air, the building is a classic Akron-Auditorium shape—I sent an email message to The ARK and hope for an answer soon, confirming the CofC connection and, perhaps, providing the date of construction. This looks too large not to have been an architect’s work.

The bottom line (albeit temporary) is that this has been entered into the database as a “likely” Akron-Auditorium church, the current #1819 on the list.

Now, just for S&Gs, compare Viroqua with this similar church in Nova Scotia. See what I mean by architectural tropes?

nova scotia

One Comment
  1. Kathy McClurg permalink

    Yes this is Church of Christ. My ancestors came from the Ohio Valley (Mercer Co. Pennsylvania) and helped with the start up of this church. Because the congregation grew a new church was built by the Viroqua fairgrounds. This new building is of the modern pole shed type and it is still called Church of Christ and there are still McClurgs attending. I have a printed history info packet of the old church if you are interested. I’m not sure of where the design came from but the congregation has Scottish Irish English decent. It is beautiful inside with many stained glass windows. Some serious money must have been put in the building fund for those windows! If you wish to contact me feel free to do so at kathymcclurg1@yahoo.com

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