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Zion Hill First Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, TX

February 8, 2016

The penny postcard craze may have been the research mainstay for this project [art and architectural histories have either ignored the A-A phenomenon or written it off as an aberration], but a small number of examples appeared in other mysterious ways. Zion Hill church in Nacogdoches, Texas is one. That’s pronounced na′·koh·dish, by the way. And if you should seek it at the southeast corner of Lanana and Bois d’Arc, make sure you pronounce it “bor·dark.” It’s just Texas.

Zion Hill was one of the earliest African American congregations in Texas, formed in 1878. By 1914 they were able to build this astounding church with its quarter-circular slope-floored sanctuary and what appears to be/have been two banks of auxiliary space —Sunday School? — along the back walls. It’s now an historic site under restoration by the City of Nacogdoches.

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The architect was Diedrich Rulfs, who was unknown to me until 10:00 p.m. this evening.

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