Former Wagoner Place Methodist Church

Update: This church collapsed into a giant pile of rubble on June 25, 2021, leaving only the tower and Sunday School wing standing. I’m glad I photographed it when I had the chance. I was shocked to hear reports of its collapse; it did not look that structurally unstable, but the heavy rains and high winds of late June proved to great for it. See the ruins in this post from early July of 2021.

Wagoner Place Methodist Church is one of those buildings that I’ve seen in other photographs in the Greater Ville neighborhood, but for some reason I had never gone by to see myself.

It has a Sunday School wing that is ingeniously incorporated into the backside of the church. Like many Protestant denominations in St. Louis outside of Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism, the church is more of an auditorium instead of a cruciform plan.

And like many of those Protestant denominations from the late Nineteenth Century, it chooses the Romanesque Revival style.

I think the tower is the strongest element of the design of the church.

It was later the New Rock Missionary Baptist Church from 1969.

Wagoner Place was at the center of unconstitutional racist covenants and civil rights after World War II; eventually those covenants were thrown out by the Supreme Court and the area was desegregated. Wagoner Place was renamed Dick Gregory Place in honor of one of the activists who worked in the area.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ME says:

    Looks like there’s 2 layers of asphalt shingle roofs on top of the original slate roof on the tower?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I think you’re right. You’d be amazed at how many original roofs are hiding under layers of later shingles.

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