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1850-1950 American Catholic Church Architecture

Irish45

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Hello All,

Does anyone know of any books about Catholic Church Architecture during this period. More specfically, the differences in architecture between immigrant groups?  It's pretty easy to spot a Polish Church from the outside and a French Canadian Church on the inside.  The Irish Italian and Portuguese seem to be less distinguishable besides their names and stain glass.  Does anyone have any incite on this?  Perhaps someone knows some books?
 

Tikhon29605

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A lot of the older Irish Catholic churches I have seen were built in French Gothic style architecture.  Twin towers are often used. But I also have seen some Irish Catholic Churches that use Georgian Architecture - kind of plain and symmetrical on the outside, clear glass windows, but still traditionally Catholic on the inside.  The German Catholic churches I have seen usually have lots of wood carving, esp. an elaborate reredos behind the altar often made of dark wood and covered with little niches for statues of the saints.  Polish Catholic churches love to put bulbous domes on top of the tower, or even have a central dome at the crossing over the nave.  And usually lots of color in a Polish Catholic Church, esp. lots of red and gold.
 

Irish45

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Tikhon29605 said:
A lot of the older Irish Catholic churches I have seen were built in French Gothic style architecture.  Twin towers are often used. But I also have seen some Irish Catholic Churches that use Georgian Architecture - kind of plain and symmetrical on the outside, clear glass windows, but still traditionally Catholic on the inside.  The German Catholic churches I have seen usually have lots of wood carving, esp. an elaborate reredos behind the altar often made of dark wood and covered with little niches for statues of the saints.  Polish Catholic churches love to put bulbous domes on top of the tower, or even have a central dome at the crossing over the nave.  And usually lots of color in a Polish Catholic Church, esp. lots of red and gold.
Thank you for the reply!  For some reason this seems to be a topic not well documented and it fascinates me.  I am fortunate to have some very old Irish churches in the area and I will check them out for sure.  Ironically the Church I was married in had a dark wood reredo but I know for sure its not German.  In fact I am unaware of any churches established in this area that were founded by German Immigrants.  I know there are a lot more in the Philly area.  Is it safe to say they have similar architecture to an Anglican church (as far as the wood goes)?  Polish Churches are beautiful but I think nothing can compare to the French Canadian Churches.
 
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