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Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, MN

September 14, 2016

stewart-picture-1

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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