Name: Holy Corners
Address: Location: Holy Corners - Kingshighway and Washingt
Designation: City Landmark
District: National Register Historic District
This landmark designation includes six separate structures: St. John´s Methodist Church at 5000 Washington Boulevard (1902); First Church of Christ Scientist at 475 N. Kingshighway (1904); the Racquet Club at 476 N. Kingshighway (1906); the former Second Baptist Church at 520 N. Kingshighway (1907); the former Temple Israel at 5001 Washington Boulevard (1908); and the Tuscan Temple at 5015 Westminster Place (1908).
"Holy Corners" acquired its name shortly after the turn of the century because of the concentration of churches that were erected at the intersection of Kingshighway and Washington Boulevards. The first of these buildings was St. John´s Methodist Church, completed in 1902 from plans by Theodore C. Link. It was designed in the Italian Renaissance style using the classical elements which were popular in public building design at that time. The Indiana limestone edifice has undergone several alterations. In 1928, an educational annex was erected on the church´s west side, including the Singleton Chapel. In 1946, a new chancel was installed in the church and new stained glass windows were added in 1967.
The next religious building in the area was the First Church of Christ Scientist, that was occupied in 1904. It is a simplified Italian Renaissance structure, designed by the architectural firm of Mauran, Russell and Garden. This church was organized in 1894 as one of the first groups of its denomination. Its congregation originally met at two locations near the downtown district.
Across Kingshighway from the First Church of Christ Scientist is the Racquet Club, which was also designed by Mauran, Russell and Garden. It was founded in 1906 by a group of prominent young St. Louisans who desired an athletic club near their homes. This club was the locale where the decision was made by a group of St. Louis civic leaders in 1927 to back the transatlantic flight by Charles A. Lindbergh.
The Second Baptist Church was founded in 1833 and occupied its home at Kingshighway and Washington in 1907. Actually, it is a group of buildings connected by front and rear loggias. On the north side of the lot is the church auditorium, which is balanced on the south end by an educational wing. In the center of the rear loggia rises an impressive bell tower, which was truncated in recent years because of structural weakness. The principal building material is brick with terra cotta trim. It was designed in the Italian Lombard style by Mauran, Russell and Garden. Second Baptist moved to St. Louis County in 1955 and presently the structure is occupied by the Gospel Assembly Church.
Temple Israel moved from Leffingwell and Pine to its new building on Kingshighway in 1908. This Roman Corinthian style temple is modeled after the Church of the Madeleine in Paris, and was designed by Barnett, Haynes and Barnett. Its interior is executed in Caen stone contrasting with the richly colored windows and bronze fixtures. Another notable feature is its iridescent glass mosaic paneling. In 1962, Temple Israel moved to a new home on Ladue Road in St. Louis County, at which time its former home was occupied by the Tabernacle of David.
The last structure of the "Holy Corners" group is the Tuscan Masonic Temple, which was dedicated in 1908. This lodge was founded in 1870 and acquired its present lot in 1905, when architect Albert B.Groves was selected to design the new lodge hall. The temple is an example of the Greek Doric style of architecture and, while it appears to front on Kingshighway, its main entrance is on Westminster Place.
site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and