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Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, MN

September 14, 2016


Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church (now Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church) in Minneapolis ought to have been one of the first churches identified in this database. It’s a near neighbor; I’ve been in it, years before the A-A project began; and its architects, Purcell & Elmslie, were among the most prominent participants in the Midwest Progressive movement known as the Prairie School.

P&E have already been mentioned in connection with St Paul’s UMC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, product of a 1914 competition won by Louis Sullivan. P&E lost that contest but they stepped in to rescue Sullivan’s design when it was turned over to another architect as a cost saving measure. P&E’s unsuccessful entry had been a full-blown A-A scheme of the A-1 type.

They also had had a trial run in the design of Stewart Memorial church in their hometown of Minneapolis, a project of 1910. In this case the property required a less “pure” solution: a C-1 forming a “L” around a courtyard for outdoor services.

stewart-memorial-church stewart-memorial-church-2

These images are borrowed from the William Gray Purcell Papers at the Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota. Coincidentally, I recalled the Minneapolis church in connection with another church in the database as a possible inspiration.

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