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Church Architecture in America

Stinky

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On the Feast of the Protection of the Theotokos (October 14, 1914 - according to the Julian Calendar), work began on the new foundation. The year prior, plans were taken from St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Muddy, Illinois. Fr. Michael Vyacheslavov left St. Louis, Missouri to become the first priest.

As work rapidly progressed, disaster struck on October 27, 1914. An earth-shattering explosion took place in the Franklin County Coal Company located in Royalton. Thirteen Orthodox Christian men died. In the aftermath of the disaster, it was learned that one of the founders of the parish,Frank Derbak, had survived.
Screenshot_20211106-091809.png


This is where I attend.
 

rakovsky

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When I went to Greece 25 years ago, in almost all the chapels that I visited there was an icon table/stand in the normal place a few feet in front of the bema platform and iconostasis gates. However, in front of this icon table, there was a pillow or kneeler and people knelt on the pillow and kissed/venerated the icon when they entered the church. One place where I noticed that this was not the case was St. Andrew's church in Patras (below):


In St. Andrew's there was no kneeler and the icon table was at waist height, so I barely could kiss the icon when I knelt on the floor to do it the way that I had been doing it in the other chapels.

My question is: What is the deal with the kneelers in front of the icon stands in Greece? Do some Greek or Russian churches have that in the US? I have never seen this in any chapel or church I visited in the US, including the Greek ones that I visited in the US.
 

rakovsky

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Sometimes crosses have a crescent-like shape at the bottom, which contrary to the common misconception, has no relation either to Islam, or to a Christian victory over the Muslims. The crescent moon was one of the state symbols of Byzantium that predated the Ottoman conquests. The crescent moon found on Old Russian icons, vestments, and book miniatures refers to the moon as the symbol of anchor, the symbol of salvation, concordant with the symbolism of the Church as a ship.

I recall reading that Turks got their moon symbol from being in Byzantine territory, and then it spread as a symbol on mosques that were in the Turkic Islamic tradition.
 

rakovsky

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Greek "Holy Trinity" Church building on North Avenue in the Northside of Pittsburgh, built 1958. It closed about 2014. It had a great semi-downtown location, IMO near the stadiums and Community college, within easy walking distance of the three points river area. The parish moved out to a more suburban location.

"Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church built from 1958-60, architect James Mitchell, who was one of the architects of the currently threatened Mellon Arena-another significant mid-century structure."


" In addition to the central core, the church also has one-story brick pavilions flanking either side of it. "

" In November 1958, a memorable ground-breaking ceremony took place just a few blocks away from the church, at 302 West North Avenue. The new church’s design, although not a typical Byzantine style, and its architect, James Mitchell (who also designed the Pittsburgh Mellon Arena), were touted in several national architectural shows for excellence in concrete structures. The cost of the new church was $217,000."
 

Fr. George

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The bishop whom blessed this was thinking worldly thoughts about how it redound to his honor, or something.
While I agree that Annunciation (and all the various "spaceship" churches) doesn't really suit my tastes, this may be too far. Every Church design started entirely or at least in large part with elements drawn from non-Christian origins, which were subsequently Christianized - so there is always a leeway for innovation in design. Having been through the process on the administrative side, the Bishop rarely (if ever) is thinking about himself when these Church designs come across his desk (except in the occasional case of, "I'll be tormented if I allow this to happen" with some of the cuckoo ones).
 

Fr. George

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Greek "Holy Trinity" Church building on North Avenue in the Northside of Pittsburgh, built 1958. It closed about 2014. It had a great semi-downtown location, IMO near the stadiums and Community college, within easy walking distance of the three points river area. The parish moved out to a more suburban location.

"Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church built from 1958-60, architect James Mitchell, who was one of the architects of the currently threatened Mellon Arena-another significant mid-century structure."


" In addition to the central core, the church also has one-story brick pavilions flanking either side of it. "

" In November 1958, a memorable ground-breaking ceremony took place just a few blocks away from the church, at 302 West North Avenue. The new church’s design, although not a typical Byzantine style, and its architect, James Mitchell (who also designed the Pittsburgh Mellon Arena), were touted in several national architectural shows for excellence in concrete structures. The cost of the new church was $217,000."
I hated the old HT. Their new Church is significantly more beautiful (a Kamages design).

 

rakovsky

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I hated the old HT. Their new Church is significantly more beautiful (a Kamages design).
It looks like a mix of 1970s 20th century US Catholic Modern style (Catholic schools and new built churches), stadium architecture, and Modern concrete city university style. Not the worst. The almost full circular round pew style of the Frank Wright architecture that Fulk Nera discussed earlier reminds me of Masonic layout, in contrast to the Greek Pittsburgh church above.
 

Dominika

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Why 8 crosses? For aesthetics?
Do you mean this "3D" cross? if so, nothing new, it's very common in the Middle East, I think in order to be seen from all perspectives.
 

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It's a decoy American football goal post. It's to attract people to church who usually stay home to watch the game. They feel drawn here but don't know why.
 

rakovsky

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Do you mean this "3D" cross? if so, nothing new, it's very common in the Middle East, I think in order to be seen from all perspectives.
No, he means in the white Modern Style 20th century Holy Trinity church in North Side Pittsburgh that I posted the photo for a few messages ago, there are 8 very tall white crosses in a row. He is asking why there are specifically 8 of those crosses in front of the Holy Trinity church:
 

rakovsky

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It's a decoy American football goal post. It's to attract people to church who usually stay home to watch the game. They feel drawn here but don't know why.
Weirdly, they do look like they are on a long football upright.
 

Dominika

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Irened

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St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Church in NJ. It's small, doesn't have a dome, but I find the interior so warm and beautiful. Here is a 360 degree tour:

 

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these next graphs nicely points to the evolution of styles lacking only Onion Domes that are geographic characteristic because the snow ...


one thing that I've noticed is that the orthodox sacral architecture however modern it is it dont lacks potential for Grace through Liturgies and Services, altho breaks up with the tradition the belongingness etc. knowing how Russia is imperial successor of Byzant think many americans could easily get selfcensured in the past century, yet many simply from lack of funds will go with vernacular barrack style as was case in the birth of usA, later more and more the ethnic influence played role, even progressives took the stage as the example of FLWright from the 48th post

interesting aside the external look what can be seen in usA as greater side-step from the tradition is the use of benches for all instead stasidia only for elders, and this really bugs me, simply services looks like theater than worship!

next odd think is fresco painting and carvings, but most of all the use of stars on the marble floors!
 

FULK NERA

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99DFA808-31CC-4642-8839-0DB4B490CA29.jpeg
E984E759-AB4F-4B59-8455-F516F4540B1B.jpeg

St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral, Santa Rosa, CA

Designed and built around 1997 by Gary Black, Architect disciple of Christopher Alexander (A Pattern Language) and subsequently fixed by Christ Kamages. New Byzantium Architects here show proposed bell tower.
The temple is fairly tall, dome visible from the nearby 101 freeway. The nave is very short limiting congregation capacity, and though it has many traditional features and details is yet awkward from many angles. The original dome leaked, requiring a redesign and build that cost another quarter million. Black was supposed to be a very responsive architect, following his teacher but actually proved obstreperous and unable to complete the job, having to be fired. He even threatened to sue the church.

The interior benefits from an extensive fresco iconographic program which is nearly complete now as the temple reaches a quarter century in age. But shortly after completion of the structure at the onset of its occupancy the south wall of the nave, a single breezeblock thick with no exterior stucco per Black’s design, suffered water intrusion that would have ruined any fresco that was planned. Black has insisted against the explicit wish of the community that the walls remain naked breezeblock in and out per his design concept. Exterior stucco was applied after the first year or so in order that planned frescos could be installed.

The dome support columns proved to have concave top surfaces that collected rainwater which then dripped down the columns, damaging frescos in them. Kamages was called in to completely redo the dome, which is now awkwardly egg-shaped.
 

Zelenikovo

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next odd think is fresco painting and carvings
sorry for the typo and the missed adjectives it should stay "next odd thing is modern fresco painting and modern carvings" i.e. profanization of interior what would be more problematic than modernization of the exterior, even tho if we pay attention for the Nous we would find will for the Organism too because also our bodies are temples of The Holy Spirit ...

regarding the last post I can understand the architectural independence and originality, yet in Orthodoxy individualism is not aim but Koinonia should be imperative, thus the architect should follow (not the wish but) the consensus i.e. Sobornost of the Community ...
 

rakovsky

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Do some EO church buildings have no iconostasis?

I came across a nice looking GOARCH one that has 4 icons set up on 4 wooden stands where the iconostasis should be, and a guard rope where the royal doors should be.



Considering that they put in pews, high quality frescoes and floors, I wonder why they didn't include a more solid iconostasis.
 
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