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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Elk Rapids First Methodist Episcopal Church
Reference Number 15000945
State Michigan
County Antrim
Town Elk Rapids
Street Address 301 Traverse St.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 12/29/2015
Areas of Significance Architecture, Art
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This building served as the home for over 100 years of the Elk Rapids First M. E. Church. The church was the pioneer religious organization at Elk Rapids, beginning with the Rev. David R. Latham's first visit to Elk Rapids as a circuit preacher in July 1857. The church's 1901-02 building meets national register criterion C as a primary example of a Protestant auditorium church building of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century period when these buildings were at their height of popularity as a building type. It retains not only the basic form and character but also the Gothic-inspired exterior finish often used for such buildings as well as important interior features such as the original pews, pressed metal ceiling, and stained glass. The church is also important in architectural ternis as an example that was modeled after, and follows closely, a published church design by then New Jersey-based church plan specialists Benjamin D. and Max Charles Price. The Prices' church plans, offered through the Methodist Episcopal Church's Board of Church Extension and published in a series of plan books over several decades in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, served as a key design source for small-town Protestant churches built across the nation. The building is also significant in the local context for its construction using the locally produced pale yellow brick; it is one of a few remaining primary buildings constructed of that material. The building retains eight stained glass windows that; installed in 1902 when the church was built, are fine representative examples of the type of stained glass windows commonly used in evangelical Protestant churches in the later nineteenth and early twentieth characterized by religious imagery and naturalistic forms rather than figural representations of Jesus and the saints.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria