Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Waterloo (Black Hawk County)
Grace Methodist Episcopal Church built the church in 1911 and it was dedicated in 1912. The church was designed in a Neoclassical Revival style by the architectural firm of Turnbull & Jones of Elgin, Illinois, which disbanded shortly after the construction started on this church. The design of the church may have been influenced by the First M.E. Church in Des Moines.
The building is an iconic structure of the Waterloo skyline for not only its unique architecture but also that is sits directly behind the Waterloo City Hall on one of the major thoroughfares through the city. It also sits at the edge of the Walnut District which is a potential historic district. The city of Waterloo has already lost many iconic structures that have left a long term scare on the urban fabric of Waterloo. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
The church currently suffers from major exterior and interior decay and damage due to many years of deferred maintenance and water infiltration. The current congregation and owner (Mt. Moriah Baptist) is currently estimated to be around 10 people and the church is not bringing in enough revenue to take care of the building.
Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered Property program was started in 1995 and implemented to educate Iowans about the special buildings and historic sites that are slowly and gradually slipping away from us. In the past 20 years, Preservation Iowa has designated over 140 archaeological sites, churches, landscapes and a variety of other buildings.
The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Properties includes:
- Endangered: Red Bridge, Monroe
- Endangered: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Waterloo
- Endangered: Hampton Church of Christ, Hampton
- Endangered: Mandalay Mansion, Cedar Falls
- Endangered: Apollo School, Burlington
- Endangered: Exchange Block, Chariton
- Endangered: Stone Schoolhouse, Lansing
- Endangered: Wade & Donohoe Buildings, Cherokee
- Endangered: Iowa State Penitentiary (2nd year)