Sunday, January 10, 1999

Wesley Chapel lost

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        In 1841, the body of President William Henry Harrison lay in state at Wesley Chapel during his funeral service.

        In 1845, former president John Quincy Adams spoke at Wesley Chapel, dedicating the new Cincinnati Observatory being built on Mount Adams. In the years before the Civil War, political rallies and anti-slavery meetings frequently were held there.

        Wesley Chapel, built in 1831 on Fifth Street between Broadway and Sycamore, was a simple red brick Georgian structure, a copy of John Wesley's original Methodist church in London.

        With 1,200 seats, it was the largest meeting place west of the Alleghenies and the largest building in Cincinnati. The seat of Methodism in Cincinnati, it had 2,000 members.

        In 1970, when the church was sold for $700,000 to Procter & Gamble Co., it had only 64 members. Two weeks after the sale, Wesley Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Procter & Gamble offered to support and finance any efforts to move the building, but there was insufficient community interest to preserve the structure.

        It was demolished in 1972.


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