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United Methodist Church, Derby, CT

January 3, 2014

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Salina, Kansas architect Charles W. Shaver may have designed five hundred churches during his forty-plus year career, but that’s chump change compared with the 1,200 claimed by NYC architect George Washington Kramer—so says his New York Times obituary.

Kramer got in on the ground floor of the A-A phenomenon as a young practitioner connected with the very Sunday School in Akron, Ohio, that gave the A-A half its name. Success went to his head and Kramer himself relocated to New York City, and from that office he did work in virtually every state and province in North America. Very typical of his early work in the Richardsonian vein is the 1894 United Methodist Church still standing in Derby, Connecticut. Oddly, as many times as I have been to and through Connecticut to visit my friend Richard, I can’t recall going to Derby. I don’t believe this building would be nearly as strong in a material palette other than its red brick and red Connecticut Valley sandstone.

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