Salzer Memorial Church

525 7th St S | Locally Designated 01/19/2006

Local Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
Notice of Designation of Historic Structure

Central hip roof (originally designed with a domed roof) with multiple cross gables and projecting gabled forms; massive square bell tower featuring arched openings on southwest corner and smaller pyramidal tower flanking the facade on the north side with projecting gabled entrance between the towers. Layered round arch portal with arch formation resting on short columns and recessed round entrance door; turrets at corners of front gable; inscription "EHRE SEI GOTT IN DER HOEHE" on archivolt of portal arch; round arched stained glass windows. bBuilt in the 19th century Romanesque style favored by low church groups, the First German Methodist Episcopal Church was renamed the Salzer Memorial Methodist Church in 1917 in honor of its most outstanding pastor, John A. Salzer. Now known as the Bible Baptist Church, the well-preserved German Methodist Church constructed in 1895 is the earliest stone interpretation of the Romanesque style remaining in the city. Unfortunately, the original structure including the roof, because it was damaged by several serious fires through the years, has undergone reconstruction. The original domed roof fell in during the fire causing an estimated $60,000 worth of damage and was replaced with a hip roof. The congregation sold the church after the fire and joined the congregations of other Methodist churches. 1996- "Displaying an almost Richardsonian Romanesque style, this church with multiple-gable projections is constructed of heavily rusticated masonry block. Inscribed on an archivolt of the recessed, compound arch portal is the words "1895, Ehre Sei Gott in der Hoehe". Other features include the following: a large, square bell tower with arched openings; two shorter towers with pyramidal roofs, both flanking the north facade entrance; battlements and rounded, tower like corners; and large, round-arched, stained glass windows. The church was originally designed and built with a domed roof; however, there is currently a hip roof because of modifications after several fires. The building was constructed in 1895 for the First German Methodist Episcopal congregation by Andrew Roth and is considered as "the earliest stone interpretation of the Romanesque style remaining in the city." Currently known as the "Bible Baptist Church," this structure stands as a fine example of the Romanesque Revival style."
- "La Crosse North/South Transportation Corridor", WisDOT ID #5991-04-00, Prepared by Heritage Research, Ltd. (1996).
-(Historical notes from the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory)