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Four by Architect Charles Harris

February 3, 2017

Now and then, A-A churches occur in a cluster, several nearby communities that built a sequence of churches, one following another and all of them by the same architect. In the practice of architecture, successful commissions often beget other commissions.

The Illinois towns of Assumption, Bethany, Moweaqua, and Westervelt form an odd kite shape a few miles south of Decatur. And there is a church in each designed by Charles Harris, who was a native of the area. Bethany was built first in about 1916, followed by Assumption in 1919 and Westervelt in 1921. A date for Moweaqua isn’t known. It’s also curious that they were built for different denominations (Presbyterian and Christian). Westervelt is on the National Register, but equally curious the nomination makes no ¬†mention of anything like an Akron-Auditorium configuration, so this may all be for naught.

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Clockwise from top left: Westervelt, Moweaqua, Bethany, and Assumption. Harris (rumored to have been a University of Illinois graduate) got a lot of mileage out of those working drawings.

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