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Polk Street Methodist Episcopal Church (South), Amarillo, TX

June 15, 2014

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Among the earliest architects in Dallas, Texas was James E. Flanders. He was also one of the state’s earliest proponents of Louis Sullivan and, to a lesser extent, Frank Lloyd Wright. Oddly in was not in his houses that Flanders paid homage to these two Chicagoans, but in his churches, the majority of them for Methodist congregations of the Southern stripe.

A substantial proportion of these churches incorporated bands of Sullivanesque ornament, most of it in pressed metal and framing either windows or louvered openings in the bell tower. And those towers often sported Wrightian eaves. Polk Street M.E. in Amarlilo isn’t the strongest candidate to support this contention, but visit a Flanders-related site for confirmation. The site’s developer is a great grandson of JEF and a correspondent of mine some years ago. Slowly, steadily he has pieced his ancestor’s career together.

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