First Church of Christ, Scientist
700 22nd Street
Rock Island Landmark, 1993; Broadway National Register District, 1998
Significance StatementOutstanding Palladian style Neoclassic architecture for a religious building.
Architect / Builder
Jones, William C.; Goetzinger, William
Broadway; 22nd/23rd Streets
Christian Science Congregation
Rock Island is home to the first congregation of the Christian Science Church in the State of Illinois. In 1896, prominent Rock Islanders met to form a Christian Science church in Rock Island; members found it inconvenient to travel to Davenport for services. In less than seven months, the first Christian Science Church in Illinois was completed at 829 23rd Street [now demolished]. The congregation began discussions in 1914 to erect a new building for the large congregation. Frederick C. Denkmann was given the duty of securing an architect. He called and interviewed many architects who designed Christian Science churches and was most impressed with the qualifications of William C. Jones of Chicago, who ultimately designed the Rock Island church.
The church was built in the Palladian style in the shape of a cross at a total cost of $11,400. It is constructed of smooth-faced Bedford limestone over brick. A temple-like porch with six massive stone columns decorated with egg and dart capitals and topped by a pediment frame the main entrance. On the north and south, the illusion of columns is created with pilasters attached to the walls. Three sets of heavy, bronze, nail-studded doors feature full-length beveled glass. The dome of the church is actually two domes, the outer protecting the inner. Eighty-four electrical lights encircle the outer dome. The inner dome features 8,000 fish scale panes within 16 sections divided by wood braces.