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The Methodist Building–Fourth Street United Methodist Church

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1937–1938, Rowland M. Johnson. Northeast corner of 11th and Chapline sts.

This Moderne church appears more institutional than ecclesiastical for good reason. It opened as the Fidelity Investment Association and was later “converted” with minimum alterations. God has replaced Mammon very sensitively in this exemplary example of adaptive reuse.

The limestone-faced exterior is carefully massed, with a central block projecting in front of lower horizontal elements. Recessed window bands with decorated spandrels provide a slightly contrasting vertical note. The massing intentionally suggests a ship. A fully rigged sailing vessel was the Fidelity Association's corporate logo, and a small panel set into the topmost wall still contains a carved image of the vessel. Among the notable Art Deco details that survive inside are a circular stone stairway leading to the second-floor sanctuary. Its chrome balusters alternate with polished metal panels that again depict the sailing vessel. In addition, several original furnishings remain in the lobby.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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