firm active: 1907-1921

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Community House for the First Congregational Church
Purcell and Elmslie
Eau Claire, Wisconsin   1913

Text by William Gray Purcell
Parabiographies entry, Volume for 1913

Job Date (in Parabiography): October 14, 1913


This addition to the Congregational Church was a most interesting opportunity, and with Mr. Elmslie busy in Chicago, the Minneapolis office set out to develop the project from certain practical measures which were essential to the use they had for it. The governing factors in plan were a long room with a sufficiently high ceiling for basket ball and other games, and a series of small rooms which could be thrown open in such a way that people seated in them could see a stage in the larger room. In order not to use up valuable main floor space for dressing rooms back of the temporary stage location, this was planned so that the stage could be approached from the main entrance corridors. This it was possible to use the other parts of the church and church basement for dressing rooms. From the plan layout, Mr. Elmslie developed the elevations which seem to be a charmingly successful expression.

About ten years later, the man church was destroyed by fire, but the Parish House was saved. The new church was built by Patton, Fisher, and Miller, of Chicago, with conventional Gothic appearances. The Parish House was included in the new scheme without architectural changes.

   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:B4d1.7]
research courtesy mark hammons