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Some cullings on the road:

Just because I may be out of the country hasn’t stopped the search for every A-A church that ever existed:

Amboy, MN; Sioux Center, IA; McAllen, TX.  More to folow.

Today’s Cullings

In no particular order:

  • SD, Armour, Congregational Church
  • OH, Newark, Methodist Episcopal Church
  • KY, Middlesboro, Presbyterian Church
  • MI, Mason, Presbyterian Church
  • OH, Ashland, Lutheran Church
  • WI, Ashland, Presbyterian Church
  • NE, Omaha, Immanuel Baptist Church

The surprise was a Lutheran church in Ohio. Lutherans were less interested in the A-A — usually German and English synods, rather than Scandinavian.

Immanuel Baptist in North Omaha was doubled in size within a few years of its first phase:

Today’s Cullings

Today’s discoveries on the auction-site-that-dare-not-speak-its-name are an interesting group of masonry buildings in Iowa, Minnesota, and Ontario. The two that are stateside are similar in scale and only slightly different in style. Winchester, Ontario, on the other hand, looks to be a much more substantial, perhaps borderline “institutional”, church warranting further investigation. Such may also be the case in Carleton, ON.

The Database

Amid these entries you may occasionally find references to a database. Yes, these individual and small group postings are based on a larger project to identify as many Akron-Auditorium churches as possible in the United States, Canada, and, frankly, anywhere in the English-speaking world. Not incidentally, I have yet to find anything even remotely A-A in either Australia or New Zealand—odd, because I’d have anticipated (but not necessarily expected) finding them anywhere there are Methodists.

I post this today for two reasons: First, to celebrate having recently gone over the 4,500 mark. Yes, it is likely that not all of these examples will prove to have been A-A, but it’s a better than even bet they are. Second, given the extent of material accumulating in files and piles—more of the latter, unfortunately—I’ve hired a research assistant to help organize the bulk of this material and begin to fill in the gaps (dates, current status, architect, type). That will entail a good deal of on-line sleuthing, which is a tough thing for me to assign someone else; there are just too many goodies one encounters serendipitously, while searching for something completely different, and I shall miss that chance encounter with the “shiny things” that divert me from the task at hand.

Another of our mid-range goals is finding a publisher, or at least narrowing the list of possibilities; academic publishing is a cut-throat prospect these days. I must confess having had a “prospectus” in hand for some time, years in fact. The format of a prospectus varies among publishers but generally falls into this pattern:

  • What is the subject of the book you hope to publish?
  • Why are you the most appropriate author to undertake this book?
  • Who will purchase the book? (i.e., what will be its marketing strategy?)
  • What is the competition? Are there other books on this or other related topics?
  • How will the book be structured? What is the “apparatus” —number of words; photographs; maps, drawings, etc.?

If you can address these, you’re on the path to publication.

So another objective will be writing an actual chapter or two to send along with this other information. At seventy-three, I can’t afford to let this opportunity slip by and avoid all my research materials make their way to the sanitary landfill.

A family grouping in Chicago

The pyramidal church with corner polygon may be the conception of Cincinnati architects Brown & Davis — and the other iterations, Brown Burton & Davis, Crapsey & Brown, et al. — who briefly had an office in Chicago. It will be interesting to compare the construction dates for these five churches with the presence of B&D. I’m also uncertain how many, if any, have survived.

Brown & Davis’s many churches of this type either 1) place the entry vestibule-narthex at the corner or 2) put the altar-pulpit there. I suspect that most, if not all, of this group can be safely attributed to them on family resemblance alone. As more information accumulates, I’ll append it here:

  • First Baptist Church (Austin)
  • Eighth Presbyterian Church
  • St Paul Methodist Church
  • Normal Park Presbyterian Church, Ashland Blvd and Harrison St
  • Woodlawn Park Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington Blvd and Robey St

The “lantern” in the first and last of these is also a B&D trademark.

Baptist Church, Sault Ste Marie, MI

There is an admirable foursquare, Roger Williams kind of quality to this church on the Sault strait separating Ontario with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Built of red brick (just because the postcard says the brick is red, don’t necessarily believe it), the church is far more modest than, say, Central Methodist, built of the local red stone, probably granite. I like especially the “freight train” linking of auditorium up front, followed by Sunday school, and then the parsonage picking up the rear.

Presbyterian Church, Colby, KS

Another of those churches that don’t quite seem to be. This is a handsome building that challenges our preconceptions of what a church should look like. Could be a school, perhaps parochial, or a lodge or even a city hall. Are we passing through a front wall of class rooms on the way to the auditorium? There is now a Prairie-esque single-story addition at the back of the auditorium block.