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Ravenswood Baptist Church, Chicago, IL

June 20, 2014

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After so many postings of indifferent architecture—buildings of some historical interest as examples of the A-A phenomenon, but of dubious architectural merit—I recalled one of my all-time favorite churches in Chicago: Ravenswood Baptist Church at the corner of Seeley and Sunnyside on the city’s northwest side. Built about 1915 from the design of Henry K. Holsman (1866–1963), I became aware of it as an undergraduate sitting cross-legged on the architecture library floor reading old issues of The Western Architect. Looking at it today, it’s difficult not to see the mind of Lou Kahn in its crisp geometries and segmented clerestory windows. Not strictly an A-A church, I post it here anyway as a remarkable example of its age.

Now and then I have to remind myself that there was a time when buildings for religious use actually had integrity.

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