Wesley United Methodist Church

721 King St | Locally Designated 12/21/1995

Summary Material:

A brick interpretation of the Romanesque style, the First Methodist Church, has multiple forms of a gable roofed main structure, shed roofed extensions or side aisles to either side of the nave, a massive pyramidal roofed entrance at the front and at the rear to create a picturesque design. In the Victorian era, a Romanesque Revival design white stone articulation of the red brick surface, stained glass, round arches, rose windows and decorative chimney crowns the church. This church is the oldest continuing Protestant church serving the same denomination in La Crosse. One of the four most architecturally significant 19th century church structures in La Crosse according to A. Sanford and H. Hirshheimer, A History of La Crosse, Wisconsin (1953).

Notice of Designation of Historic Structure

Gable roofed main structure intersected by front and rear cross gables and massive square entrance tower and belfry with pyramidal roof and flanked by shed roof side aisle at the front and rear. Two small towers with pyramidal roofs and entrance at the rear; round arch portal with metal pediment over opening, paneled archivolts, and recessed door. Blind arches over rectangular stained-glass windows as well as plain flat arched and round arched windows; rose windows in gable ends; decorative chimney crowns; round arch openings and full-length capped brick piers by finials articulate the massive tower. White stone belt courses and accents. Gable roofed church hall added to the west side. Constructed in 1886, the First Methodist Church now known as the Wesley United Methodist Church is the oldest continuing Protestant church serving the same denomination in La Crosse. One of the four most architecturally significant 19th century church structures in La Crosse, the First Methodist Church is an excellent example of the Victorian Romanesque Revival style. First Methodist Church was dedicated on August 15, 1886. The parsonage at 231 South 8th was purchased in 1899. Colman Annex was constructed in 1907 and the modern addition was built in 1953. Related buildings: Parsonage at 719 King St. General contractor: DeLorea & Rawlinson for a contract price of $12,400.00 and the stone work contractor was Royal Reynolds. The church was damaged by fire in 1922.
-(Historical notes from the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory)