119 Jefferson Street
Every Building Has a Story
The religious institution that occupies the corner of Jefferson and St. Peter’s Streets provides onlookers with an exemplary view of the distinctively fashioned Italian Renaissance styling. To achieve this, the architects applied many decorative details to the preexisting asymmetrical Gothic Revival styling. Some of these new details include multi layered concrete arches with concrete pillars, a campanile bell tower, and round arched windows. The larger arched windows have arched divisions within even larger openings. To create an even more Italian façade, the 1907 architects added extended purlins beneath the eaves to mimic the Italian villas. The red terracotta roof is another characteristic of Italian architecture. The stucco was added to hide the bricks that were damaged in the fire of 1907.
According to Glenn Conrad, the cornerstone of the First United Methodist Church was laid on March 30, 1892. Since then, it has both served the spiritual needs of the city of New Iberia and delivered an architecturally aesthetic view that has come to define the corner of Jefferson Street and St. Peter’s Street.
Both the cream-colored façade and clay terracotta gable roof provide the commanding building with a distinctive style relative to the surrounding architectural styles. Historically, the building currently used by the Methodist Church had a predecessor that stood on Washington and French Streets. The property was sold due to the location of the railroad. This church functioned between the years 1860 and 1890. In 1890 the church burned to the ground; however, the community lived on. After that church burnt, the Methodist Church bought the lot on the corner of St. Peter and Jefferson, and the newer church was built in the Gothic Revival style. In 1907, that church suffered from a fire. Following this fire, the church’s façade was brought to its current Italian Renaissance style. The current building, built on the corner of Jefferson Street and St. Peter’s Street was completed in the year 1891 and, to this day, serves the spiritual needs of its congregation.
If Walls and Windows Could Talk
The First United Methodist Church stands regally in downtown New Iberia, overshadowing the surrounding buildings. With its notable tiled roof and stucco plastered walls, the First United Methodist Church stands as a piece of Spanish Revival Architecture. Other notable features of the First United Methodist Church that tie its design with Spanish Revival Architecture are the half-rounded windows and doors located throughout the interior and exterior of the Church and even the wrought-iron fence work surrounding the entrance stairways on either side of the main doors in the front of the Church. The Spanish Revival style of Architecture found in the First United Methodist Church helps to set the Methodist Church apart from the other notable church buildings found in downtown New Iberia.
A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words
Voices from the Past and Present
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Armentor, Jonathan. First United Methodist Church. 2012. Private Collection. Jonathan Armentor.
First United Methodist Church. Photographs. Private Collection.
“First M. E. Church, So.” The Weekly Iberian. 2 Feb. 1907: 1. Print.
Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 6, Folio 339, Entry 2156—. 17 May 1878. Print.