the home of Portland's first mayor, Josiah Failing. It outgrew its first church, so a building committee was formed to find a suitable site and an architect for the second First Baptist Church. They ended up picking Warren H. Hayes (1849-1899) for the job. This was a good choice; Hayes had built over a hundred churches at that point in his career.
This strong building, with its rustic texture and many arches of wedge-shaped stone, is unique in the Portland area for its true Richardsonian Romanesque style. That is, it was based on Henry Hobson Richardson's very own Trinity Church (1877) in Boston. Thus, the First Baptist has more in common with the Dekum Building and the University of Portland's West Hall than with other local churches. This is one powerful structure; those walls are solid stone, not just rock-faced.
* Nice Lineage! In 1885, American architects rated Boston's Trinity Church as the best building in the nation. A century later, a poll by the American Institute of Architects found that Trinity Church was again near the top of the rankings. It was both the only church and the only building from the original list to make the top ten.