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Methodist Episcopal Church, Altoona, PA

July 25, 2014

PAaltoona ME

This is a guess. I think the architects of First M.E. may have been Brown, Burton & Davis, a Cincinnati firm with clients scattered completely across the U.S. More than any other firm specializing in A-A churches, BB&D held fast to the central lantern motif, though it had been removed by the time Richard Kenyon and I saw it a few years ago. Operation and maintenance—hell, just heating the damned thing—had got to be too much for the small congregation, so services were discontented in June 2011. I don’t know what’s become of it. But you can see how such enormous buildings have become unsustainable in declining “Rust Belt” cities like Altoona. Central Pennsylvania is peppered with buildings just as impressive as this one.

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