Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

201 Third Avenue

National or State Register of Historic Places
201 Third Avenue | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:First Baptist Church
Reference Number:08000201
Location (Address):201 Third Avenue
First Baptist Church
201 Third Avenue East, Osceola, Polk County
Date of Construction: 1908-1910
Architect: Harry Wild Jones (attributed)

The First Baptist Church of Osceola is a well-preserved example of an early 20th century neo-Gothic Revival style church with distinctive early modern Craftsman details. A significant and intact architectural feature is the multi-sided Akron Plan sanctuary.

One of the earliest established religious communities in Polk County built this church; it replaced a simple wood-frame building constructed by the Osceola Baptists in 1863. The unusual design and ornamentation of the 1910 church reflected a desire to have an attractive and modern building that would serve the growing Baptist community. Research indicates that Harry Wild Jones, a highly regarded Minneapolis based architect, may have created the design for the First Baptist Church. The Akron Plan rotunda incorporated into the plan was a late 19th century innovation in Sunday School design that became popular with several Protestant denominations.

A traditional square bell tower on the south and a multi-sided rotunda on the west accent the rectangular form of the building. The contrasting cobblestone and stucco exterior and up-turned roof eaves are elements seen in residential design from the early 20th century and reflect the Craftsman influence. The stained glass windows are arranged in pairs or triplets and add a horizontal dimension to the exterior. The interior also has some Craftsman elements in the dark-stained birch trim, light-colored hard maple floors, and horizontal interior detailing. There are two large circular windows, one stained glass and the other a six-sectioned rose petal window with clear glass.

This building served as the First Baptist Church in Osceola from 1910-2006. The former church is currently privately owned business and is open during regular business hours.

Period of Significance:1910
Area of Significance:Architecture
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Religion: Religious Facility
Architectural Style:Gothic Revival
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Jones, Harry Wild (attributed)
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:03/12/2008
State Register Listing Date:10/19/2007
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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