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The First Evangelical Lutheran Church (now Sheldahl Norwegian Lutheran Church) of 1883 is the perfect prototype of a prairie building that might be used as a grange hall, a schoolhouse, or, as in this instance, a church. Without a sign indicating use, this building could be any one of these building types. Its form is that of a single-floor rectangular box topped by a gable roof. The walls are clapboard and the roof is covered with shingles; the windows are double hung, with four lights per sash, and their proportions tend to the vertical. One end-gable contains the entry door and a small open belfry crowns the roof. The building itself overlaps the foundation so that one feels as if it could be easily lifted up and placed on another site (which of course happens to buildings all the time). The church is located in the northeast section of town, two blocks east of route R38.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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