Designed by local Burlington architect Charles Dunham and built in 1868, this is the second oldest church participating in the steeple lighting. Originally formed as St. Paul's German Methodist Episcopal Church, the steeple is 15 feet square at the base and rises 105 feet above the sanctuary floor with a Gothic bell tower. It was the first tall tower erected in Burlington. Except for the bell tower, most of the architectural details of the church are influenced by Romanesque Revival as represented by the curved arched windows. The stone for the church’s side and rear walls was quarried from the site itself. This explains why the church looks like it was built into the hill. The original stone outcroppings can still be seen behind the church.
St. Paul’s German Methodist church was the second of eight German churches built in the city and coincides with the influx of German immigrants to Burlington. The congregation formed in 1845 and met in a small brick chapel erected in 1848. Sermons continued solely in German until 1905 when an additional service was offered in English. In 1918, the state of Iowa prohibited the use of foreign language everywhere except in the home. In anticipation of this law, and due to the anti-German pressures caused by World War I, the church converted completely to English in 1916. In 1938, the Church of the Nazarene bought the building and worshipped there until 1968.
Due to difficult accessibility the Church went through an adaptive reuse study and was sold to the Art Guild of Burlington in 1973. Today the building is complemented by beautiful terraced gardens to the west and is an event center, Majestic Estates, for weddings and large meetings. This building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
This is the furthest west of the six steeples that can be viewed from the intersection of 4th Street and Washington. However, this steeple can be best viewed from the 6th Street bridge.
Burlington, Iowa on the Mississippi
620 Washington Street
Burlington, IA 52601