WRL-58: St. Paul's Episcopal Church

© Photographed July 20, 2015
Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin

Founded 1841

St. Paul's Episcopal Church is located on eastbound West Grand Avenue, between Bluff Street (to the west) and 4th Street (to the east), at 212 West Grand Avenue, Beloit, Wisconsin 53511.

St. Paul's Episcopal Court is prestigious Wisconsin Registered Landmark No. 58:
  • Approved by Landmarks and Advisory Committee October 6, 1967.
  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church was designated because of its historical significance -- the oldest church edifice continuously in use in Beloit, since its dedication March 1, 1856.
  • The church was nominated by the Beloit Historic Society. No historical marker was ordered.
The church is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Society: Architecture and History Inventory
212 West Grand Avenue, Rock County, Beloit
Historic Name: ST. Paul's Episcopal Church
Reference Number: 29726
Year Built: 1848
Architectural Style: Gothic Revival
Wall Material: Limestone
National/State Register Listing Name: St. Paul's Episcopal Church
National Register Listing Date: 1978-04-04
State Register Listing Date: 1989-01-01
Additional Information:
Wisconsin Registered Landmark. St. Paul's Episcopal Church is significant as an outstanding example of early Gothic Revival architecture constructed of native Wisconsin limestone and excellently maintained. It is among the oldest stone Gothic churches extant in the state. The main block of the church is 40 feet by 58 feet, 6 inches, with articulated five-bay sides and a three-bay facade, front by a three-story tower. The tower is surmounted by an octagonal spire which soars 100 feet above ground. Tall lancet windows are flanked by engaged, stepped buttresses at the sides of the building. The buttressed corners are topped with pointed finials, and the corners of the tower are buttressed as well. Pointed arches punctuate the tower front. Above the doorway is a tripartite window of simple tracery at the second level and, above a simply dentiled string course, are two lancet windows on the third level. The rugged texture of random-cut ashlar limestone contrasts with the smoothness of finials and roof. The interior dark pine ceiling is braces with crossbeams which extend between the windows and which support rondels under the ceiling ridge. Although the design cannot be attributed with certainty to any architect, the building is a worthy example of early Gothic Revival architecture in the Upper Midwest, with fine proportions, skilled craftsmanship, and a commanding yet graceful design. The plan, dimensions and elevation are virtually identical to the "original sketch plans" by C.W. Otis for Grace Episcopal Church in Galena, Illinois, as recorded by the Historic American building Survey. St. Paul's Episcopal Church has been well maintained and in active use since the first services were held there in December of 1851. It is the oldest church in continuous service in Rock County. Its cornerstone was laid in the spring of 1848 on land donated by pioneer settler John Hackett, and the church was consecrated, with all debts paid, on March 27, 1856, Bishop Jackson Kemper. St. Paul's was designated a Wisconsin Registered Landmark in October, 1967, and entered in the National Register of Historic Places in April, 1978.
Bibliographic References: (A) Beloit Daily News 7/20/1994, P. 2A. (B) NRHP form, 1976.
The foregoing content used with generous permission of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

This location is included in the Wisconsin Registered Landmarks program (1964-1973).

St. Paul's Episcopal Church is located in Beloit, Wisconsin.

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