By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 16, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Every week I drive past this place on 21st and Highland and it catches my eye. Though I haven't stopped and knocked on the door yet, I've been doing a little digging to see what I can find about the church at 1102 N. 21st St.

The small, but attractive orange pressed brick church -- which seems to also go by the address 2026 W. Highland Ave. -- is currently home to Rehoboth New Life Center, an apostolic congregation led by Pastor Mike Brownie, who according to the church's website is licensed by the United Pentecostal Church International's Wisconsin district.

But this gothic revival gem with terra cotta trim was designed by Carl Barkhausen and built in 1891 for the First German Methodist Congregation, which had left its digs 10 blocks east in what is now best known as the Forst Keller building, 1037 W. Highland Ave., on the former Pabst Brewery site.

Barkhausen is best-known for his work in partnership with Charles Crane: the German-English Academy, Schuster House on 32nd and Wells, the Button Block (the building occupied by Joey Buona's) on Water and Clybourn.

The Forst Keller building was actually the second building occupied by the congregation, which was organized in 1846. Its first home was also on Highland, near 5th Street.

Though the quirky steeple on the 21st and Highland building -- which Russell Zimmermann points out in his "Heritage Guidebook," "makes the transition from square to octagonal by splitting into one large and four small spires" -- is perhaps the most interesting element of the building, my eye has always been drawn to the row of four arched windows directly below it.

The church, which has also been home to the Solomon Community Temple, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.