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First Christian Church, Boise, ID

September 22, 2016


First Christian, an historic church in Boise, Idaho, is one of literally hundreds designed by New York City architect George W. Kramer. Built in 1910 toward the end of a long career, Kramer received commissions from every denomination in virtually every state—many of them practically identical.

During his retirement, Kramer assembled a scrapbook, state by state, with lists of his churches. His obituary claimed more that 2,200! But before you get too enthusiastic, the list for North Dakota (where I live) includes eight churches, some of them illustrated with small perspective drawings; the names were probably gleaned from old correspondence, inquiries from congregations curious about his services, his fees, and the issues concerning distance from the actual construction. From long familiarity with my state’s architectural heritage I can attest that none of Kramer’s designs were built. So, the claims made for North Dakota throw his other state lists into question. Kramer may have corresponded with potential clients across the nation, but many of those commissions went to other architects. Even if Kramer’s lists were reduced by half, however, his output would still set a record.


Now called Capitol City Christian Church, the prismatic geometries here are typical of D-1 and D-2 types built by Kramer elsewhere.

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