Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Church Architecture

   I really believe that you have to  study the past to learn about the future, and what better way than to study architecture!  Think about it, the buildings that are still standing and that have withstood the test of time are certainly something worth studying and appreciating!  In Chicago, there are so many churches that are amazing examples of church architecture, they take the main concepts that worked in Ancient European churches and cities and implement them here. 
   One amazing example is St. Mary of the Angels, it is a gorgeous church that was finished being built in 1914. 
 It was designed by the architect Henry J. Schlacks and John A. Malin was responsible for decorating the interiors and painting the walls and amazing murals.  The architectural style of the Church was inspired by the Roman Renaissance style.  The Renaissance architectural style emphasizes symmetry, proportion, geometry.  The buildings often have columns, pilasters (a column built in to the wall for some architectural details), also semi-circular arches and hemispherical domes.  Another interesting detail of a Renaissance style church is the building plan, they have a square, symmetrical appearance.  These important architectural details are a huge way to determine if the building has been influenced by the Renaissance.
  Another amazing example is St. Hedwig, also located in Chicago.
  This church was built before St. Mary's and was completed in 1901.   It was designed by the architect Adolphus Druiding, who chose brick and bedford limestone to be the primary materials.  Stained glass windows were imported from Bavaria!!!  Unfortunately in April of 2008 there was a fire that burned part of the church, thankfully it has been restored and is back in use. 
Every Church and every building has a story behind it, waiting to be discovered.  The architecture of each building tells what was going on when it was built or what influenced the architect or was the inspiration behind the creation.  By studying these buildings we can better understand where we came from in architecture and where we are going.

Lesson of Today's Blog: Be aware of your surroundings, appreciate what has been built and learn about it.  Otherwise it is just another building that we enter that means nothing to us, we need to appreciate the hard work an effort that has gone into each of these spaces!

Currently Rocking out To: Livin The Dream (I'm on a Float) by Super Mash Bros.

1 comment:

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