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First Baptist Church

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1916, Clare Hosmer. 1948 Church St.
  • (Photograph by Paul J. Jakubovich, courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society)

Wisconsin is well-known for its Prairie Style houses, but Prairie churches are rare. In fact, had it not been for an accident of timing, this church would probably have looked more traditional. In 1898, several years before Prairie Style came into vogue, foundation work began for a stone and brick church. The congregation suspended construction when the Wisconsin Central Railroad, one of the city’s major employers, closed its repair shops here, creating economic uncertainty. Nearly twenty years later, when the congregation decided again that it needed a larger church, it chose this Prairie Style design by Clare Hosmer of Milwaukee. Local contractor B. V. Martin built the three-story structure. Symmetry reigns, save for the canopied entrance with blind windows at one side. The central section marked by brick pilasters ascends to a hipped roof that rises above the main roofline. Prairie Style buildings often contrasted upward motion with a building’s horizontal massing. Below the central hipped roof, banks of leaded-glass windows suggest an abstract cross. Hipped-roofed pavilions at each end feature a column of rectangular windows, which add to the geometry of the design. Craftsman woodwork, horizontal banding, and a stenciled wall behind the pulpit grace the interior.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "First Baptist Church", [Stevens Point, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 388-388.

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