West Avenue Presbyterian Church
747 West Trade Street
Built around 1930, the West Avenue
Presbyterian Church (now the Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist
Church) is one of the few medium-sized early 20th-century churches that
have survived in the Uptown area. The existence of churches of
this scale are historical indicators of the largely residential nature
of much of the central section of the city during the first half of the
The two-story brick sanctuary building faces
north on a flat corner lot formed by West Trade and South Cedar streets.
The building is set back 80' from Trade Street, and sits adjacent to the
sidewalk along Cedar Street. The two-story facade is divided into
three sections, with projecting bays located adjacent to the corners,
mimicking towers. The center bay is pierced by one large Tudor arched
opening trimmed with a stone border featuring impost blocks and a keystone.
The opening contains metal-sash stained-glass windows held in wooden frames.
The middle of the opening is filled with a stone panel featuring a series of
six smaller trefoil panels. Below the stone panel, three stained glass
window are topped with stylized trefoil shape. Single windows with
stained glass border the largers opening on the first floor. The
bricks are laid in a running bond, with a soldier course aligned with the
sill of the upper window. The east bay is blank except for a
decorative square panel in the brickwork. Parapets rise from a
moulded, coved stone belt. The parapets above the projecting bays are
gabled. The center section features a square stone panel above the
arched opening. The parapet is topped with a stone cap.
Sometime after 1952 a
shallow brick narthex was added to the west projecting bay. The
addition features a brick and stone gabled frontispiece with a Tudor
arch doorway with double panel doors set below a arched stained glass
transom. Brick piers border the door way and are topped with stone
pinnacles. The narthex is topped with a crenellated parapet.
The west elevation is five bays wide and
features three Tudor arched openings like that found on the facade.
A basement level is illuminated by window wells along the sidewalk, and
is topped with a stone water table. Double-hung stain-glass
windows topped with Italinate stone caps are located in each story of
the north and southernmost bays. The moulded stone band found on
the facade continues on the west elevation, as do the stone parapet
panels above the arched openings.
The rear elevation features a transition
from the wire-cut brick laid in running bond that cover the facade and
west elevation, to common brick laid in American bond. When built,
adjacent homes blocked a much of the view of the rear of the church.
The westernmost two bays are located in the wire-cut brick section, and
feature the same single windows found on the west elevation. The
remaining section of the wall is pierced by window and door openings
with no decorative trim. The moulded stone band stops with the
wire-cut brick. The east elevation features a metal awning and a
brick addition added to an original brick wing set back from the facade.