Penis-Shaped Church – Dixon, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Penis-Shaped Church

Dixon, Illinois

When viewed from above this church appears to resemble a giant phallus. 


In most churches, the organ is placed inside of the church to play music during a sermon. But in the town of Dixon, Illinois, the entire church is shaped like an organ—and a phallic one at that.

When viewed from above, the Dixon Christian Science Church appears to resemble a giant penis. Once discovered, this architectural accident became a source of embarrassment for the church, especially after some Facebook users took to calling it a severed piece of the body of Christ.

Prior to 2011, the Dixon Christian Science Church had a different shape. But when the Environmental Protection Agency discovered contaminated soil beneath the church’s domain, the building had to be torn down and replaced. The church staff drafted a blueprint for the replacement, calling for a long, rectangular shape to allow for natural lighting, with a curve in order to preserve an oak tree to the south of the church.

Clearly, this blueprint didn’t come with an overhead view. When the new church was erected, not one clergyman could guess that they were praying inside of a pair of testicles. But once the unfortunate shape was discovered by users of Google Earth, the church decided to play it cool. Instead of redesigning the church to mask the penis shape, they posted to their Facebook page, “fig leaf coming soon.” Classy.