Albion Interactive History / 305 East Porter Street

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings

305 E. Porter, 1837

Style +
Italianate

Historic Designation +
Calhoun County Historic Preservation Plan, 1975
Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1976
State Register Listed, December 20, 1989
Albion Area Historical Architectural Survey, 1985

Past Occupants
Presbyterian Church

State Register of Historic Places

First Presbyterian Church, ID Number P22680
Photo Information: The First Presbyterian Church of Albion, photo submittedin 1989.
Significant Dates: 1873, 1883
State Register Listed: 12/20/1989
Marker Erected: 03/04/1992

Narrative Description
The First Presbyterian Church of Albion is a large, brick,rectangular, plane, gable-roofed edifice which expressesRomanesque style inspiration. The asymmetrical, cornertoweredfacade features a centrally placed, flared gableentry vestibule flanked by segmental arched diamond panedwindows shielded by carved stone lintels. Three, round topstained glass windows are placed above a brick belt coursewithin a recessed round arched panel. Corbelled brickarches form a frieze that is joined to the roof by a series ofpaired brackets. The corner tower unit replicates the style ofthe facade but includes only a single round toped windowwithin recessed panels on each of its exposed elevations,and is capped by a pilastered and arcaded louvered belfrybeneath a truncated spire. The most distinguishing featureof the church is the use of contrasting color brick in thecorbelled arches at the roof line and as lintels above thestained glass windows. A single-story, brick educationalwing, designed to blend with the main edifice, has beenadded to the west elevation. The present edifice is thefourth occupied by the Presbyterians in Albion, whosecongregation was formed in 1837. They have occupied thepresent site since 1857, but fire destroyed earlier churchbuildings.

Statement of Significance
The First Presbyterian Church of Albion is architecturallysignificant as an excellent example of Romanesqueecclesiastical style and as a rare ecclesiastical design bynoted architect Elijah E. Myers. It is historically significantas the focus of a congregation active in the Albioncommunity since the 1830s. The present church was erectedbetween 1873 and 1879 by Albion contractor George Maher from designs by Elijah E. Myers, a Detroit architectwho also designed the state capitols of Michigan, Indiana,Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho in addition to manyschools and county courthouses. First Presbyterian Churchis one of his two known church commissions. ThePresbyterian Church was gutted by fire in 1883, but theexterior walls and stained glass windows were saved. Thechurch membership has grown and remained active in theAlbion community, and the only major alteration of thebuilding since the 1883 fire has been the addition of theeducational wing in 1956, designed by architects JamesSwan of Albion and Carl Kessbach of Jackson.Page 2 of 3 Site Detail

Marker Text
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH | In February 1837 theReverend Calvin Clark, a circuit riding pastor sent by theAmerican Home Missionary Society, met with twenty-fourpersons and organized the Albion Presbyterian Church. Thefirst church was built in 1840 on the corner of Clinton andErie streets. In 1857 the congregation erected a new churchon this site; it burned in 1873. The third church, completedin 1879, also burned, and the present one was built in 1884.| SIDE TWO | The First Presbyterian Church, built on thissite in 1858, burned in February 1873. Detroit architectElijah E. Myers was immediately commissioned to plan anew church, which was completed in 1879. (Myers alsodesigned Michigan’s present state capitol.) In 1883 fireagain ravaged the church. The Romanesque Revivalbuilding’s shell and two stained-glass windows were savedand incorporated into the present church, which wasdedicated on August 10, 1884.

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