Historic Name: Loranger Methodist Church (DESTROYED)
Address: corner of Allman Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard
Status: National Register
Date Placed on National Register:10/5/1982
Level of Significance: Local
Area of Significance: Exploration/Settlement, Social History
Property Type: Church
Architectural Style: No Style
Theme: Local History
The Loranger Methodist Church is located on the corner of Allman Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard amid the modern Loranger school complex. It is a square plan building raised on a finished basement with a bungalow style porch and a corner bell tower which has a spreading pyramid roof. The interior consists of a 2 story square space with sets of curved pews which face a corner balustraded platform with a baptismal and a pair of lecterns. The baptismal is inscribed within a Colonial Revival elliptical archway. The ceiling is supported by 4 exposed wood and iron trusses set in a square. Each truss is supported by massive brackets which spring from paneled pilasters. There are ancillary spaces on three sides of the nave. One is framed under an elliptical arch, one is set behind folding doors, and one is reached through 3 double doors. All of the interior surfaces, except the floor, are covered in narrow gauge beaded wainscotting.
The Loranger Methodist Church (1915) is a three-story frame structure set in a modern school complex. The building has undergone no major alterations since construction.
Assessment of Integrity:
The church has no integrity problem because it has undergone no major changes, and only one minor change, the installation of a metal awning.
Specific dates 1915
Builder/Architect O. R. Brown — Architect & Contractor
Statement of Significance (in one paragraph)
The Loranger Methodist Church is significant in the area of exploration/settlement because it is the only surviving public building which represents Loranger’s colonization. Shortly after 1910, the Genessee Lumber Company began an elaborate campaign to market their cutover land. They sent agents all through the Midwest to sell farmlands. They changed the postal address from Jessica to Loranger after the brothers who owned the company and laid out a townsite complete with building codes and restrictions.
The Loranger Methodist Church, constructed of Louisiana Longleaf Yellow Pine donated by the Genessee Lumber Company, was completed in the latter part of 1915. The company also donated lumber for another church and a school, but neither of these is extant. *
The Loranger Methodist Church was ideally suited to become the center for many community activities in addition to its religious functions. The large sanctuary on the main floor doubled as an auditorium for plays and choral presentations for the bi-weekly “excursions” of prospective customers the land agents kept bringing in. The auditorium also served for graduations from the school across the street; community service talks by farm experts; and in the 1920’s, movies were regularly shown after careful previewing to keep Hollywood from embarrassing the sponsors.
*The company donated lumber and cooperated in efforts to construct the churches and the school so that the area would be more attractive to potential immigrant families.
The Loranger Methodist Church is locally significant in the following areas:
(1) It is significant in the area of exploration/settlement because it is the sole surviving relic of a major attempt to attract settlers to the area–an attempt which involved the founding of the present community of Loranger.
(2) It is significant in the area of social/humanitarian because it served as Loranger’s only major gathering place from its construction until more recent times.
Major Bibliographical References
Research Report Submitted by Sponsors, located in Loranger Methodist Church National Register
file, La. State Historic Preservation Office, Baton Rouge.