Architect: Joseph Royer Year Built: 1909 Architectural Style: Craftsman
In designing the Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in 1909, Joseph Royer carefully blended Craftsman and Prairie architectural styles together to create a unique building along Urbana’s Main Street. The churchis constructed of large masonry blocks painted contrasting colors of light cream and tan. Vertical piers add a three-dimensional effect to the wall surface. All of the masonry piers on the building have triangular caps on the top and protrude above the flat roof line, which is accented by thin horizontal masonry coping. The rest of the wall surface is articulated with alternating punched stained glass window openings and masonry piers. Horizontal bands of limestone act as the lintels for the windows.
The most striking aspect of the building is the tall square tower which has four large piers at the corners and small overhangs above a system of louvers. The space which houses the chapel is visible on the exterior of the west façade. The space dismisses the rectangular footprint of the rest of the building and becomes an octagonal form. The wall surface is broken up by vertical piers and the space between the piers is articulated with two rows of rectangular stained glass windows. The east façade has a row of tall, thin, stained glass windows which are also divided by masonry piers. The main entrance to the church has stairs leading up to it and the stairs are flanked by urns, a characteristic of Prairie style architecture. The entrance consists of large red wooden doors and the porch, which is supported by large square piers. The roof of the porch has exposed rafters, characteristic of Craftsman architecture. The secondary entrance has a simple overhang which is supported by wooden brackets, which are Craftsman elements. The church is ornamented with abstract geometric ornament, a common feature of Prairie style architecture.