Placeography:Featured place/2014-06

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Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church, 116 32nd Street East, Minneapolis, Minnesota

This Prairie School religious edifice was designed by Purcell and Feick and built for the Stewart Presbyterian Church in 1909. In 1988 the Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church purchased the building and completed the restoration in 2000. The next year it received a National Trust for Historic Preservation award. A leader in the efforts to restore the building was Clifton Johns, a resident of the South Minneapolis African-American community. When Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church was dedicated in 1910, the Prairie Style cube stood in sharp contrast to the traditional turn-of-the-century houses surrounding it in south Minneapolis. Similar in appearance to Frank Lloyd Wright`s Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, Stewart Memorial was the first major commission of architects William Gray Purcell and George Feick, Jr. Together with George Elmslie, another veteran of Louis Sullivan`s Chicago office, Purcell and Feick promoted the Prairie Style in Minnesota, leaving a rich architectural legacy displayed primarily in residential designs. The significance of Stewart Memorial has been acknowledged by the structure`s listing in the National Register and as a local landmark. The Church was beautifully restored in 1999-2000 by preservation architect Robert Mack of McDonald Mack. In 2014 the church was selected by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota as a site worth saving.

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