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R. H. Hunt, Architect [1862-1937]

December 19, 2013

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Reuben Hunt was an architect from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who made his own mark in the Akron-Auditorium phenomenon. Like his near contemporary James Flanders in Dallas, Hunt specialized in churches, receiving commission throughout the South, from the Carolinas to Texas. He produced three promotional pamphlets or plan books to promote this line of work.

Hunt’s take on the A-A included familiar configurations (A-1 and D-1 in my matrix) but, unlike most of his Northern contemporaries, Hunt’s clientele were particularly fond of the variant I call “saddle bags”. I append here two pages from catalogue #3 to illustrate the difference between them.

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See what I mean? His Design #340 is my type D-2 and quite common among Methodists in the North. “Saddle bags” (Sunday School rooms hung on the sides of the sanctuary) are rare anywhere above the Mason-Dixon. Hunt’s Design #332 represents an idea peppered throughout his plan books and available in both frame construction and masonry in a wide range of prices to find the congregational budget. Hunt deserves and will certainly get special commendation from me for this particular spin on the movement.

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