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Charles Webber Bolton [1855-1942]

November 7, 2013

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Postcards have and continue to be the greatest source of information for this project. This recent eBay acquisition of a church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is typical of the work of Philadelphia architect Charles W. Bolton. And I am relatively certain that this church has the characteristic diagonal auditorium and (I’m guessing) an Akron plan Sunday School showing at the far left of this postcard. Sadly, a quick google.maps search confirms that the building is gone.

Why are A-A (Akron-Auditorium) churches so undervalued and disproportionately ignored in the literature of architectural history. The quick and easy answer is in the image of this Harrisburg church: very often the very best of them are off the beaten path. They were designed by architects outside the canon; they hide in plain sight. I intend to fix that.

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