Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Linn Memorial Complex

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Institution Name: Central Methodist University
Original/Historic Place Name: Paul H. Linn Memorial United Methodist Church, Cross Memorial Tower, Swinney Conservatory of Music, and Rice Cooper Parish House
Location on Campus: North Church St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1927-1931original construction Trueblood & Graf
Designer: Trueblood & Graf
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: stone
Roof: slate
ca. 1927-present (2006)bell tower
ca. 1927-present (2006)academic department building (Swinney Conservatory of Music)
ca. 1927-present (2006)chapel (includes church, bell tower, and parish house)

This Gothic Revival cruciform shaped church is built of rock-faced, random ashlar stone from the Indiana Limestone Company of Bedford, Indiana. The church was designed to be the center of a religious-educational complex. The front façade features a large Norman arch with the standard three portal doors and large stained glass window above the entrance. The five bay sides also feature stained glass windows with a clerestory and buttresses. The cathedral like interior of the church contains all the original furnishings, with oak woodwork, a traditional king-post and tie-beam roof support of wood covered steel beams, and a gothic arched grillwork festooned with grape clusters and branches over the choir. The church seats over 1,000 people and is used by the college.

Cross Memorial Tower joins the Linn Church to the rear (east end). This rectangular tower measures 24 x 36 feet, is 96 feet tall, and is constructed of rock-faced, random ashlar stone from the same Indiana company. The tower features a single lancet arch on the north and south sides and two lancet arches on the east. Modified piers run the length of the tower. Six lancet arches filled with metal grates approximately ¾ of the length of the tower hide carillon bells. Clocks on the extreme top portion chime each hour.

The Swinney Conservatory of Music was built on the right or north arm of the Linn Church. This L-shaped building has five bays of Indiana stone laid in random fashion. It is two stories with a raised basement; the end of the conservatory contains an apse. The casement windows are original throughout the building.

The Rice H. Cooper Parish House is a five bay building with three wall dormers with gables and no overhangs in front. It projects south of the Linn church, completing the complex. The interior is original and regularly used by the United Methodist congregation and the college.


Central Methodist College Campus Master Plan. Central Methodist University, Fayette, MO.

McVicker, Maryellen H., Larry Dimond, June Thade, Bartlett Jones, and Sue Koch. Central Methodist College Campus Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1980.

Tucker, Frank C. Central Methodist College: One Hundred and Ten Years. Nashville: Parthenon Press, 1967.


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Last update: November 2006