Lake Harriet Spiritual Community is proud to be included on the National Register of Historic Places through the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service division.
The building was designed and built in 1916 as Lake Harriet Methodist Episcopal Church. The architectural firm of record is Fulton and Butler of Uniontown, PA, and the firm principal, J.C. Fulton, designed the project. The church reflects the Classical Revival style popularized by the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 with classical elements of symmetry, plain wall surfaces, full height classical columns, entrance portico, and pediment-topped exterior walls surmounted by a prominent drum-supported dome. The church’s physical integrity, including the masterfully crafted stained, painted, and leaded glass windows, remains intact. No additions have been made to the structure since its birth almost a Century ago.
The Lake Harriet Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1916 to replace the first ecclesiastical structure constructed on the site in 1907. The 1916 church was planned for and built on a hilltop site at the southeast corner of the intersection of Upton Avenue South and West Forty-fourth (44th) Street, making it a focal point in the community. The presence of the slope, an unaligned intersection, and the tall dome made the structure visible from many points in the community, seen well across Lake Harriet, more than one mile away. In 1965, the Lake Harriet Methodist Episcopal Church site was expanded to include an “L” shaped parking lot.
The building is distinct in the city as it is one of few remaining examples of the Classical Revival architecture built in the Ionic order, as an ecclesiastical structure. Its remarkable integrity of original materials, rarity of style, City Beautiful influence, and its primarily residential setting make it unique among the existing Classical Revival buildings in Minneapolis.
Over the nearly hundred years of its existence, the building has been home to the First Church of the Divine Science, Lake Harriet Community Church and now Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. The remarkable building with the “dome by the lake” is currently a thriving Center for Conscious Living that honors and explores a unique connection to the Divine within each of us.