Historic Church Burned But Congregation’s Spirit is Unquenchable

December 07, 2020 by: Ben Heimsath

This weekend, a fire in an empty apartment building spread to the Middle Collegiate Church next door and gutted the historic sanctuary. Firefighters took eight hours to squelch the flames. The damage is still being assessed, though the historic building is severely damaged. Originally built in 1892, it is clear already the interior nave and the original Tiffany stained glass are completely lost. ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation / New York City / Church Architecture

Church Sketching Along the Tour de France - Virtually

October 12, 2020 by: Ben Heimsath

A few years ago, my wife and I stumbled upon a live broadcast of the Tour de France and have become fans. We only know a little about competitive bicycling but we’ve been captivated by gorgeous images of the French countryside, villages, and towns. We hope to visit some of the amazing places we’ve seen along the Tour. Covid has kept us at home this year and I've written about sketching and ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Church Architecture

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

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

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture

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

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation

Rally at Mosque Demonstrates Support

December 05, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

It’s distressing these days that bad news, even fake news get spread all over, while really good news seems to gets lost or sinks below waves of acrimony and vitriol. This weekend, however, a truly heartening event bobbed up high enough to get noticed. The Houston Press ran a feature about a crowd gathered outside a mosque in Houston to demonstrate their support! The group of several dozen ... Read More

Holy Place / Sacred Architecture / Religious

St Mark’s Storied Past A Buried Lead

November 25, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Check out St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio on the web. Images of the historic building are gorgeous, but you won’t easily find out anything about their history. This is particularly odd since this landmark gothic revival church certainly ranks among the most beautiful of the early 20th Century. It stands to reason that the architect for the original building, which still remains as the ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation

Historic Church with a History of Mergers

November 17, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

This beautiful edifice on West Pine Street in West, Texas is worth noting. The wooden ornamental construction includes delightful variations on the tradition of what we now call carpenter gothic architecture. The original congregation was founded in 1875 as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. By 1883 they constructed their first church on this site. In 1901, as times changed and the congregation ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation / Worship Spaces

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