Central Methodist Church, photo c. 1983
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Central Methodist Church
111 East Spruce Street, Sault Ste. Marie - Chippewa County
Other Names Central United Methodist Church
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use RELIGION/religious facility
Style Romanesque
Architect/Builder DILLON P. CLARK
Narrative Description The Central United Methodist Church is multi-storied structure with turrets and small gable protrusions attached to its basic cross-gable nave floor plan. The Richardsonian Romanesque church is constructed of local red sandstone and features broad roof plains and arches over the doors and the arcade-like groupings of the windows. A dark red sandstone beltcourse runs around all facades at the height of the first floor. Dominating the composition is a prominent, square carillon tower with arched windows on the first level and tall, louvered openings, grouped in threes and topped by arches on the upper level. The tower is topped with a steep, pyramidal roof. A circular turret is located on the opposite corner of the facade from the carillon. A modern, two-story annex is attached to the rear of the building.
Statement of Significance The Central Methodist Church is a significant vernacular adaptation of the Richardsonian Romanesque style and represents both a long history of missionary church communities in the Upper Great Lakes as well as a period of fast-paced growth in Sault Ste. Marie. The first Methodist missionaries came to the rapids of the St. Mary's River in 1833. After a post-Civil War economic and population decline, a resurgence in the Methodist community in 1873 led to the formal organization of the congregation in Sault Ste. Marie which constructed the present church. The church, completed in 1894, was designed by architect D.P. Clark of Owosso using red sandstone previously cut and shaped for a failed canal venture in the city. The church is currently used for regular worship by the United Methodists.
Marker Name Central Methodist Church
Marker Text CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH This Richardsonian Romanesque church was erected in 1892-93 according to plans by Bay City architect Dillon P. Clark. It is one of several buildings in the city constructed of red "canal rubble" sandstone discarded during a power canal excavation. The church sustained three fires; the most recent occurred on December 22, 1941, during a wartime blackout. Although the interior suffered extensive damage, the original exterior structure remains substantially unchanged.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1893-94, 1904
Registry Type(s) 1993 Marker erected
12/27/1984 National Register listed
06/17/1993 State Register listed
Site ID# P22850