First M.E. Church, Akron, Ohio

First Methodist Episcopal Church

When the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Akron was ready to construct a new building, Lewis Miller, a successful inventor, and industrialist had a plan. Working with architects Walter Blythe and Jacob Snyder, Miller devised a plan for a better Sunday school. Miller’s plan utilized wedge-shaped classrooms separated by partitions radiating from the direction of a central superintendent’s platform. Doors on the platform-facing side of each classroom could be closed during grade-separated lessons, or opened to allow all pupils to see and hear the superintendent during school-wide lessons. The trendy new design became known as the Akron Plan and was popular in church construction for nearly 50 years.


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