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Day Trip: Walk, don't crawl on tour of churches

History combines with architecture on tour of churches

DAVENPORT, Iowa – For the second time, the Hilltop Campus Village Altar Crawl is set to fling open the doors of churches.

Eight buildings will be open to provide free tours and events May 4 as part of Preservation Month. Visitors can begin at any church on the tour; no tickets, no fuss.

The stops this year are:

• Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 323 W. 11th St.: The building has been in service since 1908. It has a barrel vaulting over the nave and stained glass windows. Visitors will see all areas of the church.

• First Baptist Church, 1401 Perry St.: The cornerstone was laid in 1889, and its sanctuary is in the Romanesque revival style. Historical items will be on display with refreshments in the fellowship hall.

• First Christian Church, 510 E. 15th St.: This was built in 1964. The tour will have music, historical displays, refreshments, and visits to the sanctuary, prayer chapel, fellowship hall, and gym.

• First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa St.: The church was built in 1897-98 in the classic Romanesque style. A children's pageant will be at 1:30 p.m., followed by an ice cream social.

• Sacred Heart Cathedral, 422 E. 10th St.: Built in the Gothic revival style in 1891, this cathedral was once the tallest building in Davenport. The church, choir loft, and chapel will be open. An organ concert is planned for 2:30 p.m.

• St. John United Methodist Church, 109 E. 14th St.: Services began here in 1903. The entire building and The Center across 14th Street will be open. Refreshments and music will be provided.

• St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 N. Brady St.: Church history dates back to the late 1870s, but the building was completed in 2007. The sanctuary, chapel and the 1913 house will be open.

• Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 121 W. 12th St.: This Gothic-style church is the oldest on the tour, and is the first cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. The sanctuary and rarely-seen original sacristy will be available.

Whether for the architecture, the history, or just out of curiosity, the altar crawl will make a good spring tour.

If you go

What: Hilltop Campus Village Altar Crawl

Where: Eight churches in Davenport, Iowa

When: 1 to 5 p.m. May 4

Cost: No charge

Information: Visit (tour information available starting May 1) or call 563-322-8293

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