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First Congregational Church, Akron, OH

September 14, 2018

Invested nearly an hour this morning in a phone conversation with staff from Perspectus Architecture in Akron regarding their consultancy with First Congregational, probably Akron’s oldest surviving A-A church. It’s always good to speak with those who are as enthusiastic about the A-A phenomenon as I’ve become and, in this case, to learn so much from their hands-on experience.

This phenomenal pile of limestone was erected during 1909-1910 from the design of Charles Henry & Sons, Akron architects. As with many A-A churches, changes which occurred over the years tended to have been cosmetic—the covering of skylights; Edwardian stenciled ornament painted over; a movable partition simply hidden behind a gypsum wall—and were undone rather economically. In case it isn’t self-evident, the “Akron Plan” was conceived in the Ohio town, so I suspect some sort of pilgrimage is in order—perhaps in the spring.

  1. Looking on the Organ Historical Society website there are several entries for this church. 2 have photos. The photo from 1951 suggests the interior got a spectacularly unfortunate “modernization.” The 2006 entry has several photos showing an interior that has been returned to more of an Edwardian era look.

    • My conversation with the restoration architects also covered the restored organ. Apparently consultants were brought in from Quebec for the task and the “update” was done with little affect to the interior.

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