Beth Israel Synagogue

2128-30 Third Avenue This stately building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street usually arouses curiosity.   Although now it’s a sports bar, it still evokes its religious past as Beth Israel Synagogue.  Comparison of its appearance today with that on the early 1900s postcard shows many changes, yet much of its original style … [ Continued

Immanuel Lutheran Church

5th Avenue at 20th Street  1923 5th Avenue Like hands folded in prayer, the tall tapered spires of Immanuel Lutheran Church are emblems of a religious structure that has graced downtown Rock Island for over a century.   At 162 feet high, the main steeple may well be the tallest in the community.  Even the building’s … [ Continued

Swedish Lutheran Church

1326 Fifth Avenue From the archives of Rock Island’s First Lutheran Church comes this rare Real Photo postcard of one of its early buildings.  It was located on the southwest corner of 14th Street at 4th Avenue and was then known as the Swedish Lutheran Church.  Most of the information in today’s story comes from … [ Continued

South Park Chapel

1500 30th Street This early 1900s Real Photo postcard identifies the little L-shaped building with a huge entrance tower and belfry as South Park Chapel.  That was the first name of what is now Rock Island’s South Park Presbyterian Church.  One definition of a chapel is a small house of worship, usually associated with a … [ Continued

Sacred Heart Church

Fifth Avenue at 28th Street Over a century old, Rock Island’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Fifth Avenue at 28th Street has weathered its years very gracefully.  Indeed it takes a very close comparison of this early 1900s postcard with the church today to note any differences at all.  We could find only two. The … [ Continued

Grace Lutheran Church

4401 7th Avenue Grace Lutheran Church was organized on February 2, 1888, with 18 charter members.   It was notable for being the first “English” church, with services in English rather than Swedish, in the Augustana Synod.  Connections to Augustana College were strong, and services were held at Augustana’s chapel in the early years of the … [ Continued

Central Presbyterian Church

929 14th Street  This postcard contains the year 1910 within its design.  That tells us it was probably published to show the architect’s drawings for the new Central Presbyterian Church that would be built on two vacant lots at 14th Street and 10th Avenue.  The upper left corner of the postcard commemorates an older church … [ Continued

St. Joseph’s Church

14th Street & Second Avenue  St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, on the southwest corner of 14th Street and Second Avenue in Rock Island, shares a history with both the Presbyterian Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  The church and rectory, as they appeared in the early 1900s, are shown on the featured postcard from Shannon Hall’s … [ Continued