The tomb of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue—the greatest American architect of his generation—rests in the Episcopal Church of the Intercession in the far northwest of Manhattan. Here we explore the inscriptions and sculptural contents of this "token of the affection of his friends" and "his great architectural creations that beautify the land."
On the implications of the theologies of two prominent 12th-century abbots in the Benedictine tradition—Abbot Suger and St Bernard of Clairvaux—as they touch on themes relevant to architecture, especially simplicity, proportion, light, and the divine darkness.
"Without doubt, Our Lady of Chartres is still a majestic and sublime edifice. But for all the beauty she has maintained with age, it is difficult not to sigh with indignation before the damage and countless mutilations to which men have subjected the venerable monument." (Thus spake Victor Hugo)
Milton A. Ryan was most well known for his mid-century modern residential architecture, especially in the Terrell Hills neighborhood of San Antonio. But he also designed two award-winning churches: the Victoria church in 1952 and University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio in 1954.
Plans are in place to demolish the University Lutheran Center serving the University of Texas at Austin this fall and replace it with high-rise student housing with a ground-level store-front Student Center. While the project is an opportunity to advance the center's ministry and satisfy students' needs, the destruction means the loss of a unique structure with a strong ministerial character and a place significant to Texas heritage.
A history and description of the Chapel for the Children (1962) designed by David Graeber, an interfaith chapel on the grounds of the Austin State Supported Living Center that progressed the idiom of the post-war A-frame church.
The architects of the current church building were the Austin firm Jessen Jessen Millhouse & Greeven with Robert George Mather as the principle designer. It is a masterful abstraction of a Roman basilica which retains that gracious grandeur of the earliest Christian basilicas which is lacking in the majority of its contemporary churches. The height of the interior volume in proportion to its plan accounts for much of the efficacy of this space when compared to its peers.
An extended study of the prayers and lessons from the Liturgy of the Hours for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, this post includes translations of the Latin texts, a lexicon of sacred building terms used in the prayers and the Bible, scriptures related to the Christian attitude towards sacred buildings (and architecture generally), and a discussion of "Architect" as a name/title for the Divine.
Revisiting St Paul, Bow Common and Lutyen's Outraged Christ after visiting both in person in London, this post contains personal reflections on both and how they work exceedingly well in service of the liturgy.
The second reason I traveled to the Liturgy and Sacred Space conference at de Tiltenberg in the Netherlands was the opportunity to visit churches designed by Dom Hans van der Laan, his family, and his students. The culmination of this pilgrimage was a two night stay at his masterwork, the St Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals.
In addition to celebrating the Feast of the Dedication of the St John Lateran Basilica and participating in praying the monastic offices, I had time to carefully consider a significant portion of the architecture. I also spent time in lectio, completing Hans Urs von Balthasar's Love Alone is Credible and re-reading parts of van der Laan's The Play of Forms. This post is intended to be more personal reactions to that experience than critical architectural response, though for me the two are probably not too far apart.
After questioning polemics in Part 3, we now turn to the principles which are the true essence of Pugin's texts. Pugin only listed two principles, so this is an attempt to enumerate the remaining principles with attention to how they apply in increasingly complex contexts.
The third installment of this bicentenary series explores the categorization of Pugin's work as polemical and its relationship to contemporary polemics as an argument for an openness to his continued influence.
On the Propriety of Gothic Revival for Contemporary Worship Patterns, or, The Dream of the 1890s is Alive in Portland. Wherein we examine the basis for Pugin's arguments, the relationship between formal building expression and formal worship expression, and three examples of contemporary worship occurring in Gothic Revival buildings.