Boston’s Firefighter’s Memorial on the Mall

July 25, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Revisiting Boston, I’m impressed all over again with this city’s wonderful public monuments. One of the most impressive is the collection of nine monuments along the center of Commonwealth Avenue. This broad street was patterned after Paris’ grand boulevards by landscape architect Arthur Gilman. The long park in the center was christened “the Mall” and was gradually developed between the 1850’s ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Memorial

Our Lady Star of the Sea, Little Cranberry, Maine

July 24, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

There are two churches on Little Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine. Decades after the Islesford Congregational Church was built, a stalwart community of Catholics built a permanent church home. In 1941, a major donor provided land near the site of the recently demolished Islesford Hotel. Another patron provided most of the funds for the structure.   Much smaller than the Congregational ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Worship Spaces

My Islesford View Inside and From the Tower

July 23, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Today, thanks to Joy Sprague and Henry Grandgent, I was able to spend time studying the inside of the Islesford Congregational Church. And best of all, I got to climb up in the bell tower! Yesterday’s post was all about this building’s history. Neither Joy or Henry knew who the original architect was, but Henry recalled the church was constructed by a prominent builder of that era who is till ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture

English Lychgate For Luling, Texas

July 12, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Just off of the main street in Luling Texas, a church with rough stones and a simple pitched roof stands between the commercial buildings and a residential neighborhood. Seeing the historic marker in front of the main façade, I thought I’d stop to take a closer look.   First Christian Church of Luling is an unassuming structure. There’s simple nave with old metal casement windows along each side. ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation

A Small Hope for Threatened Churches

July 06, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

According to Alberta Phillips’ lead editorial in the Austin American Statesman today, a new ordinance offers some small hope for preserving many older public buildings, including churches. I note this is small hope because the hard work of finding appropriate uses for many of these buildings isn’t addressed by this ordinance.   The new ordinance will impact the Springdale Church of God in Christ ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Austin / Historic Preservation

Jesus’ Tomb Gets Historic Makeover

June 26, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Perhaps one of the most challenging church projects on record, renovations have begun to fix the crumbling chapel built directly over the site where Jesus was entombed. The structure, called the Edicule, stands inside the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; one of the most sacred sites in Jerusalem. Weather hasn’t caused the deterioration, rather, years and years of smoke, humidity and wear ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Historic Preservation

Adas Israel is Transforming Inside

June 15, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

From the outside, Adas Israel, the largest conservative Jewish congregation in the Washington DC area presents a 1950’s exterior to its neighbors in the Cleveland Park district. But inside, things have been changing. The congregation hasn’t promoted the work as a massive interior renovation program, though that’s and important component. In 2008, with the arrival of Senior Rabbi, Gil Steinlauf, ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Adaptive Re-use

Museum of the American Indian Connects

June 14, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

This isn’t a museum review, nor am I offering an architectural criticism of a building, which from the outside I really don’t like. However, my visit today to the Museum of the American Indian did give me an insight that clearly connects the themes of spirituality and an appreciation of native peoples. Emerging from the upper floor "Our Universe" exhibit, I was thinking of the number of tribes ... Read More

Sacred Architecture

Airport Chapel Offers Repose - If You Can Find It

June 10, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

A few articles were published about the new chapel at Hobby Airport in Houston. Dedicated with the renovated lobby in 2011, it’s strategically located near the baggage claim. The intention from the outset was to allow access to anyone, with or without a ticket and on the public side of the security screening. I’ll blog about that chapel later. The articles didn’t say anything about the other ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture

Church and Police are Neighbors in East Austin

June 05, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

On Springdale Road, across from the Austin Police Department’s East Substation, a small church stands at the corner. The Springdale Church of God in Christ will be celebrating its 62nd anniversary this year, according to its Facebook page. From the outside appearance, it is likely this building is the congregation’s first structure, with much of the original image in tact.   The building conveys ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Austin / Historic Preservation