Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

716 COLLEGE AVE

Architecture and History Inventory
716 COLLEGE AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Other Name:FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Contributing:
Reference Number:10782
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):716 COLLEGE AVE
County:Racine
City:Racine
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1851
Additions:
Survey Date:2009
Historic Use:church
Architectural Style:Greek Revival
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:LUCAS BRADLEY
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: First Presbyterian Church
National Register Listing Date:3/20/1973 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

This beautifully proportioned example of Greek Revival architecture is the masterpiece of Racine's most celebrated architect, Lucas Bradley. Flanking the recessed porch, which is supported by two stone Doric columns, are four brick pilasters which support a triglyph frieze, also made of CCB. The spectacular belfry and spire are reminiscent of the English Renaissance designs in London by James Gibbs (1682-1754) and Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723). The spire has been hit and damaged three times by lightning.

Map code originally CT #/#; the CT presumably meant city and was stripped off.

Designed by Lucas Bradley (1809-1889), Racine's first architect.

Previously surveyed in 1975.

The First Presbyterian Church is the oldest remaining church building in Racine. The decision to form a church was made on February 13, 1839. Construction began in 1851 when the congregation had only 54 members. There were women who made their pledges by turning their homes into boarding houses for the construction workers. The lot was purchased for $1,200 and the church was built at a cost of $10,600.

The architect and builder, Louis Bradley, was also an elder of the church. He opened lumber yards and a hardwood factory in Racine.

The church has 138 pews on the main floor. In addition to 18 pews, the balcony housed the church melodeon, later a harmonium, and then the church organ. The organ was moved to its present location in 1886. The church bell was purchased by the ladies of the congregation in 1855 and was also used as the city fire bell.
Bibliographic References:Racine Journal Times, 06/25/1995 & 04/27/1997. Historic 6th St. Business District Walking Tour Guide, 1990. Preservation Racine Tour of Historic Places Guidebook, 2008.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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