Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

108-0063 Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church South

Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church South
Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 1993

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/16/1990

NRHP Listing Date 12/06/1990

NRHP Reference Number 90001822

Recalling the somber, Medieval buildings of Northern Italy, Danville’s Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church South, the “Mother Church of Methodism,” is among the most ambitious works of Victorian architecture in a city famed for such works. The Romanesque Revival composition is dominated by an 87-foot-high campanile replete with bartizans, machicolations, and arcades. These same elements embellish the façade—the front of a vast sanctuary. Located in the Danville Historic District, the Main Street United Methodist Church was begun in 1865 and initially completed by the contractor Henry Exall in 1873. Subsequent large churches in the neighborhood inspired the Methodists to remodel their church into a much grander statement. The work, undertaken in 1890-91, resulted in the present façade and tower, attributed to the architect William M. Poindexter. The contractor was J. R. Pleasants. The completed work is, among other things, a masterpiece of Victorian brickwork. The adjacent 1923 educational building was designed by J. Bryant Heard of Danville.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: December 29, 2021