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Fifth Avenue Baptist Church

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1917–1919, Reuben Harrison Hunt; Edwin N. Alger, supervising architect. 1961–1968, Harold E. Wagoner. 1968, John W. Winterich and Associates. 1135 5th Ave. (southwest corner of 5th Ave. and 12th St.)
  • (West Virginia Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

This large, temple-fronted, yellow brick church is a good example of one of the most familiar Protestant types of the twentieth century. Its pedimented, hexastyle Ionic portico, composed of limestone columns and entablature, is approached by a broad flight of steps. The interior has been remodeled several times, but the basic original arrangement, with choir, baptistery, and organ as major focal points, remains, as does an impressive paneled ceiling. The original Sunday school wing at the rear has been supplemented by a major addition on the side.

Plans and a perspective rendering of the church were shown in Church and Sunday School Buildings (1917), published by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Conventionin Nashville. The fittingly named author, Prince Emmanuel Burroughs, focused his text on the church's extensive Sunday school accommodations, where small classrooms surrounded assembly rooms arranged in graded departments. The main assembly room, with two horseshoe balconies, remains.

R. H. Hunt (1862–1937), of Chattanooga, was a prolific designer of churches throughout the South. Harold E. Wagoner, of Philadelphia, another prolific church architect, designed the large side addition, including a chapel. John W. Winterich and Associates remodeled the sanctuary in 1968.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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