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First Methodist Episcopal Church, Memphis, TN

April 10, 2017

This is definitely not the best way to gain understanding of the Akron-Auditorium church as a unique American type of religious structure. First Methodist in Memphis was designed by Akron, OH architect Jacob Snyder, one of the inventors of the Akron Plan, and built during the years 1887-1893. It was destroyed by fire in October 2006.


At the rear of the auditorium are the remains of what was very likely an authentic Akron Plan Sunday school.

One Comment
  1. This church remains one of the most unfortunate buildings of my experience. Built with a seemingly unlimited budget, it had originally been exquisitely detailed and constructed to the highest standards, making it one of Memphis’s most elegant structures. However, after WWII the congregation modernized the building and utterly gutted the Victorian Gothic interior. Even the hammerbeams were cut away and replaced with glu-lam parabolic arches painted in rainbow colors. When i saw the building there was no AA plan visible, though it is possible that the wholesale redesign had obliterated any trace of it.

    The one good thing they did in this period was to adopt a W.W. Kimball pipe organ from a masonic temple in New Orleans. The Kimball was a delightful example of the orchestral style of organ building, but it along with the entire building, were lost in the 2006 fire.

    A single photo of the chancel is on this link.

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