Wesley United Methodist Church

minneapolis, Minnesota

Wesley Church was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style by the well-known ecclesiastical architect Warren Hayes. Like many of his churches, Wesley features a diagonal plan in the sanctuary, with the pews arranged in a fan-like fashion. A sweeping balcony traces the curve of the fan, with the pulpit at the point. Sloped seating and a domed ceiling—which, at Wesley, showcases sixteen stained-glass windows—create a grand, theatrical air and provide stellar acoustics and sightlines. The building is one of just a few in Minneapolis to be a designated local historic landmark for both its exterior and its interior; the church is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Wesley’s sanctuary and adjacent Lillibridge Hall, taken together, are also a modified version of another church-design innovation of the era, the Akron Plan. Such designs feature a Sunday School wing directly adjacent to the sanctuary, with moveable partitions that allow the two to become one continuous space. Lillibridge Hall contains two levels of classrooms, with a rotunda that serves as an airy connection to the sanctuary when the partitions are open.

 

Like many inner-city churches, the building suffered from a lack of adequate maintenance, and MacDonald & Mack has worked on various restoration projects at Wesley over the course of more than 15 years. Our services have included helping to nominate the building to the National Register of Historic Places, preparing master-planning materials, and assisted with restoration of stained glass, the roof, masonry, and interior spaces.

 

CLIENT

Wesley United Methodist Church

 

links

Wesley Center website

National Register nomination