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First Presbyterian Church

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1917–1919, Coolidge and Hodgdon. 400 5th Ave. S.

Churches of the 1920s, and period revival designs in general, have an ease about them, as if everything were accepted and effortless. Limestone Gothic churches such as this were built all over the country in the decades of the twenties and on into the thirties. The upper-middle-class Presbyterians almost seem to have created their own recognizable version of the rural English Gothic. Their church complexes were more often than not placed on large, well-landscaped sites; the buildings were low in scale, and rambling. While they were authentic in their use of Gothic sources, there is a pronounced modernity about the resulting buildings. The Clinton church presents a gable-roofed entrance front to the street; it is dominated by a window surmounted by a wide pointed arch. The walls to the side are treated as three receding layers of buttresses; the entrance door has a strong domestic scale about it.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "First Presbyterian Church", [Clinton, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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