Modern Art For Old Church Walls in Spain

November 14, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Several decades ago, a small village in Northern Spain fought hard to save its old church. An airport was due to be built over old stone walls dating from as early as the 16th century. The campaign was successful, the runway was rerouted, and the Church de San Miquel Arcangel was saved. More recently, the village leaders realized they needed to find expanded uses for their landmark structure. ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space / Liturgical Arts / Religious

St Joseph Proves Value of Holding Out

November 08, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

A tough group of determined Germans were not to be trifled with in 1944. No, this isn’t about the war in Europe, the conflict here was in San Antonio and in this conflict, the Germans won! A large department store, Joske’s, had just purchased significant properties around the old St. Joseph Catholic Church, a congregation founded in 1868 by German immigrants. Try as they might, the store could ... Read More

Holy Place / Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation / Religious

Poetic Moments at Catholic and Lutheran Common Prayer Ceremony

October 31, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

The seriousness and serenity could be felt half way around the world. I felt it this morning watching the livestream of the historic joint service of Common Prayer celebrated by Pope Francis and the leaders of the Lutheran Church. My comments yesterday in anticipation of this momentous event didn’t begin to catch the significance of both Catholics and Lutherans worshipping together in recognition ... Read More

Holy Place / Memorial / Religious

St. John Lutheran, New Ulm

October 29, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Drive through the small town of New Ulm in Central Texas and you’ll find a general store, a bank and even a post office off the main roads. But you’ll have to look a bit harder for the church. One block off the main street is Hickory Street where St. John Lutheran Church stands at the end of the block.   The congregation was founded in 1867 by German immigrants. According to the New Ulm Chamber ... Read More

Holy Place / Historic Preservation / Worship Spaces

Mission Espada Restored for Worship and History

October 13, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

It’s easy to forget that long before the Texas oil boom, long before Texas was an independent country, long before Moses Austin and his son, Stephen F. Austin brought 300 families to the Texas territory, there was more than a century of European settlement in Texas. Those early settlements were organized around the church.   In San Antonio, seven of the original missions remain. The oldest of ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space / Historic Preservation

O’Neil Ford’s Trinity Chapel Doing Fine At 50

October 08, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

It was Alumni Day at Trinity University when I stopped by today. The campus, known for its subtle architecture and sensitivity to the landscape was highly presentable. My goal was to visit the Parker Chapel on campus, one of O’Neil Ford’s signature designs. I realized that the building, dedicated in 1966, was now 50 years old. O'Neil Ford, Texas' modernist pioneer teamed with other architects for ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space / Campus Architecture

Worship Space and the Psychology of Home

September 30, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Two professors at the University of Texas have weekly series on our local public radio station that I really enjoy. Each week, Two Guys on Your Head deals with some aspect of psychology and the human brain. This series strikes the right balance between scientific rigor and cultural commentary to make some tough issues very approachable. Today, in response to a listener whose home was destroyed in ... Read More

Holy Place / Design Process / Sacred Symbols / Worship Spaces / Religious

Looking For Sacred Space at WFX

September 26, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

The excitement of attending last week’s WFX 2016 conference in Louisville continues. One observation, stays with me as I recall the intensive gathering of many evangelical and growth church leaders. Other than youth gatherings, this is probably the youngest assemblage of church leaders I’ve attended recently. And by young, I mean under 50, since that’s often the youngest crowd at many church ... Read More

Holy Place / Church Design & Construction / Religious

A Place for Worship at Chicago’s O’Hare

September 20, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Listed as the fifth busiest airport in the world, over 75 million people pass through Chicago’s O’Hare’s doors annually. This massive facility accommodates all levels of needs for people from all over the globe. And that means it also has a multi-faith chapel.   Though many airports have no place for worship or spiritual reflection, both Chicago Airports have active chaplaincies. Midway Airport ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space / Sacred Architecture

Postcrypt Coffeehouse - Musical Magic in the Basement

September 19, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Enter through a side door of St. Paul’s Chapel on the Columbia campus in Upper Manhattan and make your way down a flight of stone steps. On your left is a vaulted stone room, designed originally for storage. But come on a weekend night during the academic year, and you’ve arrived at a treasured folk and acoustic music venue, one of the few remaining student run coffeehouses from the 1960’s. Stay ... Read More

Holy Place / Historic Preservation