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First Presbyterian Church

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1866–1869, John C. Bennett, contractor; 1958–1959 Calvin Hall Educational Building, Harold Fisher and Associates. 52 Marshall St.

The lofty 185-foot-high spired central tower of this large church in the Round Arch mode looms over the city and makes the building the most dominant landmark in Coldwater. The tower's corner piers and those of the building itself were originally marked with pinnacles. Round-arched openings pierce the red brick exterior walls that rise to a corbeled cornice beneath the gabled roof. From the central entrance, paired stairs lead up to a plain auditorium trimmed in white oak that seats 650. Originally three banks of pews were arranged before a raised platform with a centrally placed pulpit and the organ. A curved balcony reached by paired staircases is at the rear. The auditorium originally was decorated with frescoes by Anton Mahler of Cincinnati. The windows are the original stained and painted glass made by George A. Misch and Brothers of Chicago. The First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1837. It held services in schools and in the county courtroom before completing a wood frame church in 1844, which was replaced by the present church. At its dedication, The Coldwater Republican for October 16, 1869, called the new church “a perfect model of elaborate and substantial workmanship.”

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert
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Citation

Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "First Presbyterian Church", [Coldwater, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MI-01-BR2.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 196-197.

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