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Pioneer Gothic Church and a train station: Dwight Illinois Part 4 January 29, 2008

Posted by dr. gonzo in Architecture, Churches, National Register of Historic Places.

We looked at the small village of Dwight, Illinois more than a week ago, there are two more National Register listed sites in the community that we have yet to discuss; though, there are other sites in Dwight worth seeing as well.

The Pioneer Gothic Church is a high-style example of Carpenter Gothic Revival style. Good examples of the style are even more scarce because the 1857 church, like many examples of Carpenter Gothic, is constructed entirely from wood. Fires were common during this era, in fact, Dwight suffered four major fires during the period 1869-1891.

1857 Pioneer Gothic Church

The church was built by a Dwight Presbyterian congregation and eventually served as a township hall before being purchased by the Dwight Historical Society. The board and batten siding adds emphasis to the building’s vertical theme, chamfered corners on the tower, the pointed arch windows, and the vergeboarding (as individual as each carpenter who designed a Carpenter Gothic building) all contribute to the building’s unquestionably Gothic features. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Some of the key Gothic elements are visible in this image

The other Dwight site is what was historically known as the Dwight Chicago and Alton Railroad Depot, today the building serves as the Amtrak station, and the Dwight Historical Society Museum.

1891 Dwight Chicago & Alton Railroad Depot

The 1891 depot building was designed by architect Henry Ives Cobbs in the Richardson Romanesque style. Cobbs was a Chicago architect who designed the first structures at the University of Chicago, the Newberry Library and other important buildings. The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Other Dwight Posts
*Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Online Resources
*Pioneer Gothic Church: NRHP interior photo: Pulpit, Older photos: 1983 – 1, 2, 3
*Pioneer Gothic Church: National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
*Wikipedia: Pioneer Gothic Church (by me)
*Wikipedia: Dwight (Amtrak Station)
*Wikipedia: Henry Ives Cobbs
*Dwight Chicago and Alton Railroad Depot: National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
*Dwight Chicago and Alton Railroad Depot: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Property Information Report (including older photos – some dated)

Join me tomorrow as we pick up where we left on our tour of Route 66. We will be in Pontiac, Illinois. Stay tuned.



1. Jeannie - February 16, 2008

I know that this is an old post. But, on the off chance you are checking old comments?

Any photos of the lighting inside of the Pioneer Gothic Church? I’m helping a Carpenter Gothic Church in Chicago with a restoration and we are having a tough time finding photos about period lighting for churches of this style. Thanks!

2. dr. gonzo - February 17, 2008

I don’t but it’s owned by the Dwight Historical Society. I bet if you contact them you could find what you needed. Unfortunately, the only interior lighting designs I am intimately familiar with are those by Frank Lloyd Wright. If I come across anything I will post here as a comment. Hope that helps.

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