Restored Chapel in Clear Lake - Update

June 07, 2018 by: Ben Heimsath

A family trip to Clear Lake Park was a good excuse to revisit the Bay Area Museum. This facility is housed in a repurposed church that was saved from demolition in the late 1970’s. I blogged about this facility in 2016 but had not been able to see the interior. As luck would have it, this time the museum was open! The interior has been restored faithfully with much of the original layout intact. ... Read More

Church Adaptive Reuse / Preservation / Adaptive Reuse / Chapels / Worship Space

Church Adaptive Reuse Accommodates both Choir and Worship

February 15, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

In the 1980’s, the exterior of Christus Church in Hanover was preserved as a significant Neo-Gothic historic landmark. But the interior remained in a deteriorated state. The congregation on its own was unable to afford the major upgrades needed to maintain the soaring 19th Century nave. So local officials stepped in to assist. Solving two problems at once, Hanover leaders arranged to renovate the ... Read More

Church Adaptive Reuse / Adaptive Re-use / Worship Space / Historic Preservation

First Christian Church a Dramatic Small Town Presence

February 06, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

There may be some connection between the origin of a group and the way they present themselves in later years. That seems a logical explanation for the delightful church near the center of Smithville. More than a century after its design, this building continues to be one of the more dramatic structures in the area. So it was no surprise to learn this congregation met in the local Opera House in ... Read More

Historic Preservation / Worship Space / Sacred Architecture

Mar’s Hill Church and the Original Soul Invaders

February 01, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

It’s been shocking to learn how little I knew about the incredible diversity of faith communities in and around my old hometown of Fayetteville, Texas. Back then, as I’ve blogged before, I only knew two congregations, and both of them were Catholic. Today, traveling on Hwy 159 East of Fayetteville, I pulled over to see a worship space that I’d never seen before. What I discovered is a landmark ... Read More

Historic Preservation / Worship Space

Islamic Center in Texas Burns

January 29, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

Sometime in the early hours Saturday morning, a fire started in the only mosque in Victoria, Texas. A clerk from a nearby convenience store noticed the flames and called the fire department. By the time they arrived, shortly after 2 a.m., the building was already engulfed in flames. As dawn approached, the flames were extinguished, but the mosque was completely destroyed.   Firefighters battle ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Demolition

A New Korean Church De-Emphasizes Religion

January 22, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

A feature in Architectural Record about a new church in Korea offers a unique perspective on one major trend in church construction. Built by the Presbyterian Church of Korea, the program called for more of a community landmark than a church edifice. It’s located on a tight site in an established area of residential towers. The distinctive design uses seven stories of enclosed space, a meandering ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Worship Space

Altar Cloth Traced To Queen Elizabeth’s Fashion

January 08, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

The tradition of covering an altar with a special cloth goes back centuries. In September, I blogged about the importance of altar linens, and how the tradition began as early as the 4th Century. This past year, perhaps one of the most unique and important historic altar cloths was discovered. Curators had suspected it came from a garment once worn by Queen Elizabeth I, famous for her long and ... Read More

Liturgical Arts / Worship Space

Clear Lake Islamic Center - Learn! Play! Pray!

December 27, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Nearby the Johnson Space Center, and neighboring the Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church, the Clear Lake Islamic Center is growing. The congregation began in an old storefront in 1996. Three years later, they recruited an Imam, Shaykh Waleed Basyouni and a year later, they purchased 2.5 acres and began planning to build. The current construction, nearing completion, will fulfill a four-phased ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space

Fayetteville Brethren Church and Cemetery are Personal Landmarks

December 21, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

This little church stands on a hill at the intersection of Ross Prairie Church Road and Kramr Road about 2 miles south of Fayetteville, Texas. This also happens to be a landmark for me personally since the old Heimsath home was just a bit farther down Kramr Road. And as I noted during my visit to the Mt. Pilgrim Church, I realized I have never been inside this lovely wood-frame church!   I was ... Read More

Historic Preservation / Worship Space / Sacred Architecture

End of the Line for Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Queens

December 18, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

New York YIMBY sends out regular updates on current real estate activities in the New York area. Quite frequently the news concerns a church or temple, often under consideration for historic landmark status. Sadly, many also are being considered for demolition. This past week, a new project was announced for a property in Queens. The listingincluded a photo of the existing property, which happens ... Read More

Worship Space / Church Demolition