Monday, May 22, 2017

Beaux Arts Congregationalists

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: Even as a generation of American architects was seeking to solve the layout, structural and aesthetic issues of tall buildings, Stanford White was designing Beaux Arts temples and palaces to serve as libraries, train stations, banks, clubs, arenas, theaters, and mansions. They set the taste for the wealthiest people in the country. 

One of the treasured “City Beautiful” buildings of Naugatuck, CT, once “Rubber City,” is Stanford White’s Congregational Church on the green, designed in 1903. It was the year the Flatiron Building scraped the sky in New York City. 

What an interesting architectural juncture is represented here! It is the evolving tradition of white clapboard community meeting houses, re-imagined in White’s stylish classicism. It is lavish simplicity. If style is the outer form of spirit, what is the journey from those hill temples to this vaulted space in the valley?


Ginnie said...

First of all, I love the fisheye view of the first image, Ted, and should remember to use that option on my camera more often! What a fabulous structure to play around with. Those side columns with private seatings are quite unusual to me. I'm not ever sure I've seen something like them before, other than in theaters?

Emery Roth II said...

It's a place we may be able to visit, if that interests you. It was built in 1903 and is next to an especially beautiful parish house.