Churches and Natural Disasters -Trends With Not so Obvious Impacts on Church Design

January 05, 2018 by: Ben Heimsath

Considering so many events last year were so unprecedented I’ve been thinking about the effects of all these changes. A number of not so obvious trends are poised to have big impacts on the built environment. What's more, these trends may change the way we understand spiritual places and worship environments. Salem Lutheran Church in Houston - Rising waters spared the new sactuary, but old ... Read More

Church Design & Construction

Shephard Fairey Was Here

May 23, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

It may not be a celebrity sighting, but for the contemporary art world, may as well be! World renown muralist, activist, and street artist, Shephard Fairey left his signature mark on a few left-over buildings in Austin not too long ago. These images are two variations of Fairey’s iconic graphic, OBEY GIANT which has appeared on posters, stickers, murals, and in art galleries all over the world.   ... Read More

Austin / Street Art

Street Art Homage to Pop Art and Austin

February 26, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

A new street art piece appeared this weekend at one of the main intersections in the Mueller development. Local street artists have been officially and unofficially using anonymous utility boxes as canvases for some wonderful images. This new offering is from celebrated local artist, Truth. My wife and I noticed this striking image and had to stop for a closer look. The composition is a direct ... Read More

East Austin / Street Art

Mid Century Modern Church for Sale

February 21, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

Full disclosure, our firm was involved in moving St. Boniface to a new facility, leaving a Mid Century Modern church vacant and ready for a new use. The congregation built a distinctive stone edifice in 1960 close to the active creek that runs along the edge of the unincorporated town of Comfort, Texas. That creek is the reason for the church’s relocation in 2006. On two separate occasions, major ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use / Church Adaptive Reuse

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

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

Modernist Landmark Church Demolished

February 11, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

A Canadian settlement north of Quebec City has given up its landmark modern church. But the old building didn’t come down easily. According to a local news station, several cables snapped and crews spent several days trying to bring the massive concrete building down.   Photograph from Le Journal de Quebec, ROGER GAGNON The Notre-Dame-de-Fatima Church dates from 1962 - 1963. It was designed by ... Read More

Mid-Century Modern / Church Demolition

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

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation

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

Worship Space / Historic Preservation

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

Religious Beliefs and Extraterrestrials

January 26, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

A simple question has accompanied the heightened interest in the possibility of life on other planets. Would the discovery of extraterrestrial life fundamentally challenge established religions and their theological foundations? In other words, would the existence outer space aliens trash the earth’s beliefs? All this speculation may seem far-fetched, but over one-third of American adults believe ... Read More

Religious