Three Beautiful Churches
This year's tour is sold out, but these beautiful churches by Edward Townsend Mix are still worth a visit
Doors Open offered a scholarly but lively tour of the architecture of Edward Townsend Mix conducted by MIAD professor of art Chris Szczesny-Adams. Mix was Milwaukee’s most important 19th century architect and designed both the Mitchell and Mackie buildings on East Michigan St,, the National Soldiers Home, and three gorgeous churches: the Cathedral Church of All Saints on E. Juneau Ave., Immanuel Presbyterian Church on N. Astor St. and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on E. Knapp St.
The tour gave a nice overview of Mix’s impact on Milwaukee with considerable attention to the churches. All Saints cathedral was built in 1868 (and originally known as Olivet Congregational Church) and done in the Gothic Revival style. Immanuel Presbyterian Church, completed in 1875, was done in the “High Victorian Gothic Style.” St. Paul’s was completed in 1883.
All three were beautiful, but St. Paul’s had perhaps the most striking interior design. It’s considered the city’s finest example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which emphasizes (as Wikipedia explains) clear, strong picturesque massing, round-headed “Romanesque” arches, often springing from clusters of short squat columns, recessed entrances, richly varied rustication, blank stretches of walling contrasting with bands of windows, and cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the walling.
St. Paul’s also has the largest collection of Tiffany stained glass windows in the state. This includes the largest window ever made by Tiffany Studios of New York. Spanning 30 feet long, 24 feet high and up to two inches thick, it is a copy of Gustave Dore’s masterpiece “Christ Leaving the Praetorium.”
The church also features wrought iron by Master Blacksmith Cyril Colnik.