St. Matthew's
by the Bridge
Episcopal Church

St. Matthew's By-the-Bridge (1913) is a good example of a Tudor Revival design church.

Tudor Revival, as a style, was very popular during the early part of the 20th century and was commonly used for residences, offices and school buildings, as well as churches. The church designer, Robert Layton, was an industrial arts teacher in the Iowa Falls school system. An Englishman, Layton returned to his old home on a visit in 1912, and made sketches of several village churches in the area. Armed with these sketches, he drew the plans from which St. Matthew's was built the following year. Two of his students, Louis and Ernie Welden, assisted him in making the blueprints.

The Church is a single-story rectangular building measuring 24'x60' perched on the palisade overlooking the Iowa River. The building is of wood frame construction covered with stucco. The gable ends have a simple simulated half-timbered effect and paneled vergboards. Diagonal braces appear to support the roof.

The interior of St. Matthew's remains basically unchanged. The altar is located at the east end of the sanctuary. The aisle is arranged just to the left of center, with narrow pews along the north wall. The interior structural system of king-posts, queen-posts, collar beams, and struts makes a dramatic vertical statement. The feeling of the sanctuary is that of a small, intimate place of worship.

The address is Oak St. at Railroad St., next to the Oak Street Bridge.

Tours available by appointment. (515) 648-5314 or 648-4017

Donations are accepted and special organ mini-concert available