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Neil Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, Columbus, OH

Columbus is proving to be a bonanza of A-A possibilities. But, as you might suspect, several of the inner-most examples are suffering from declining congregations (for the mainstream denominations) and comparably declining revenues. This one, Neil Avenue M.E., is currently listed on multiple real estate websites. Sad for the former congregation; sad for a threatened building (that seems in excellent condition), and sad for historic preservation. One wonders if a use can be found compatible with its assets.

Still looking for interiors more convincing than these:

I see lots of movable partitions but am still not convinced.

Presbyterian Church, Abbeville, SC

Abbeville’s Presbyterian church dates from 1886-1888 and reflects the influence of the A-A phenomenon. On-line information is skimpy, especially images. These two glimpses look through the partially-opened sliding doors from the auditorium toward the Sunday school.

Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church, Fargo, ND

Here in my own front yard is Broadway Methodist Episcopal church, which has been at two locations in the city—the earliest of them, oddly, not on Broadway. From a building at Fourth Avenue and Roberts Street, they moved to Broadway and Seventh some time about 1904. The architect associated with this client was W. C. Albrant (who has his own tragic story to tell), though I can’t tell which building might have been his. Albrant designed a number of Protestant churches in eastern North Dakota before his death in 1905, for Methodist, Baptist, and Congregationalist clients. Neither site has left a building footprint to help us understand their interior layout.

Not to suggest that Albrant was a formula-driven designer, here is his First Baptist church which has also disappeared from its former site at Eighth Street and First Avenue South.

Do you detect a theme here? One is the mirror image of the other.

Central Swedish Baptist Church, St Paul, MN

Though it is an unlikely candidate for A-A status, this is an interesting church nonetheless, simply because of the rarity of Prairie School examples.

Incidentally, the church still stands as a fragment of a much larger complex at Shields Avenue and Roy Street. Minneapolitans will know the location if I say it’s two blocks from Midway Books.

Methodist Episcopal Church, Estherville, IA

Estherville is already represented in the database (Baptist and Christian) and I have not yet found a good exterior image of this M.E. church. But is is clearly of the A-A type: don’t be distracted by the light on the right; notice instead the large framed doorway on the left of the pulpit.

Broome Street Tabernacle, New York, NY

Broome Street Tabernacle (Presbyterian?) was built in 1885 and stood until the 1950s; it was finally demolished in 1958. Its plan is a composite of at least two in the matrix: the auxiliary space to the left of the auditorium and the subsidiary rooms to the right (at both first floor and balcony levels). Hybridization is a good thing.


Two competitive designs

Architects Marsh & Russell of Los Angeles — the firm existed during 1902-1909 — designed several churches in southern California and elsewhere along the Pacific Coast. Neither of these Baptist churches, projected for Seattle and Vancouver, BC, were built—for reasons not yet known. Plans are unavailable but M&R did other churches with A-A characteristics, so these are possibilities.