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Park Avenue Baptist 1928

It is worth walking down Park Avenue West just to experience this church from the sidewalk view.

Everything about it rewards putting yourself in proximity: the classic architecture creates a noble old-world aura that is deep and culturally stirring; and really, you miss the best details unless you are close enough to see them.

Park Avenue Baptist built 1863

Originally in Mansfield history, the Park Avenue Baptist church was a landmark downtown at the northwest corner of Park Avenue & Walnut Street.  It was removed in 1928 to make way for the Farmers Bank tower that stands on that corner today.

A Park Avenue guardian

I have always wondered who this androgynous guardian of Park Avenue West is, looking down from the old Baptist church. It appears to be some sort of sandstone Earth Elemental; with enough of that inscrutable slow stone patience it takes to overlook the parade of variable humanity passing below for the last century.

Another friendly guardian

Another friendly guardian from above the Mosaic sidewalk.

Timothy Brian McKee is a featured columnist on our site every Saturday with a column titled Native SonEvery Tuesday, he taps into his knowledge and collection of historical photos and bring us Then & Now, a brief glance at the way things were.