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Seven by C. W. Bulger, architect

October 21, 2016

Incidents of regional architects having significant influence in the market area aren’t common but they do happen. One of those characters was C. W. Bulger [1851-1922] whose professional life was split between Colorado and Texas. The only other Texas architect to rival Bulger’s influence was James E. Flanders, whose churches were smaller but more widely distributed.

Bulger’s later career in Dallas, Texas produced a number of churches, many of them in Dallas itself, but there is also a group of at least five that were built far beyond North Texas From Oklahoma to Mississippi. The family resemblance among them suggests that publication of one early in the series may have generated interest and brought Bulger commissions for the others. Indeed, there may be more that have yet to be identified with him.

The sevenĀ that I know include:

  • Gaston Avenue Baptist Church, Dallas, TX
  • First Baptist Church, Galveston, TX
  • St Luke’s Methodist Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, OK
  • First Baptist Church, Chickasha, OK
  • Beech Street Baptist Church, Texarkana, AR
  • First Baptist church, Shreveport, LA
  • First Baptist Church, Greenwood, MS

I’ll assign some construction dates to these soon, but in the meantime here are some postcard images to whet your appetite:

lashreveportbap artexarkanabap okokcme-2 okchickashabap msgreenwoodbap txdallasgastonbap txgalveswtonbap

Whether on raised platforms or at grade level, Bulger’s model is a tetra-style portico for the main entrance and another on the shorter leg of the L-shaped plan. Once he’d worked out the dome, there was no reason for innovation; they remain virtually interchangeable.

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