325 South Street was formerly the Grace United Methodist Church. It was built from 1883-1885 and was the first church on the west side of Elgin. Architect Clarence Stiles, an Elgin native, designed the church in the Norman Gothic Revival style. Stiles also designed the First Congregational church on the east side.  In 2005 Grace Church merged with Wesley United Methodist church and sold this building to Lighthouse Ministries. The property has been put up for sale multiple times over the last few years.


The Norman Gothic Revival style enjoyed popularity during the Romantic Movement between 1830 and 1880s. This style was a withdrawal from the former styles that borrowed stylistic elements from ancient Greece and Rome. This style is more commonly identified with churches where high style detailing such as tracery windows, steeply pitched roofs, corbelled parapets and pointed arches found at doors and windows were amongst its more notable elements. 325 South Street is classified under the Norman Gothic Revival style as its tower reflects that of a Norman castle with its crenellated parapet and high spire. 


Sources: Near West Neighbors Association; Audio: TextAloud