710 6th Street - First Congregational Church of Oregon City

This church sits on the southeast corner of the intersection and features a prominent tower over the northern entry to the building. This tower features a pointed arch entry, recessed panels beneath a belt course that lies just beneath an octagonal bell tower that contains pointed arches with decorative tracery. A second belt course is present just above these openings, beneath the simple castellated parapet decorated with more recessed panels. The main body of the church is elliptical in shape, presenting a large bank of pointed arch stained glass windows to the street. Flat pilaster separate the windows, which also feature decorative hood moldings. These pilasters continue up through the parapet (also with recessed panels) and are topped by pyramidal spears. At the northwest corner of the building, a small rectangular bay with a gabled parapet provides a break in the repetitive nature of this section of the building. At the southwest corner of the church is a second entry. This entry is identical to the one on the north side, but the octagonal tower has been removed. Under the main body of the church, the English basement is lighted by a series of 1/1 double-hung sashes that are placed directly beneath the stained glass windows of the nave. The entire building is clad with stucco, and is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Statement of Significance: Sedonia Shaw sold this property on Lots 7 and 8 to R. and Lena Ruconik (a.k.a. Ruconich) in 1919. The Ruconik's then sold it in 1923 to the First Congregational Church (now Atkinson Memorial Church) of Oregon City who built the structure in 1924. The Atkinson Memorial Church is one of a group of eight ecclesiastical buildings in Oregon or southwest Washington designed or influenced by architect Willard F. Tobey between 1907 and 1925. The Atkinson Church was the last chronologically to be built in this group. The stained glass windows in the church were designed and installed by the Povey Brothers Studio in Portland. The second minister of the church (for whom it is named) was George Henry Atkinson, an important figure in early Oregon religious and educational history. Atkinson, pioneer preacher, founder of churches, colleges and public schools in the Northwest, left a sizable mark on the early development of Oregon. In 1982, this property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.