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Charles William Bulger, architect (1.1)

October 22, 2016

C. W. Bulger’s name shows up now and then as additions are made to the database. I knew he had been an architect in Dallas, Texas, but his origins came as a suprise: born in Indiana in 1851 and entered the profession in Trinidad, Colorado near the end of the 19th century. Recently, however, I found an article from 1922 about a prototype church plan deigned by Builger (during his Texas Years) with the following assertion by the firm itself:

To illustrate the demand for this type of building, our firm alone during the last 10 years has designed and had erected more than 100 buildings of this type in more than 20 states.

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Yet when I search by Bulger’s name only two of these 100+ churches come up: one in Mexia, Texas and another, which I’ve seen in person, in Portland, Oregon. Bulger’s other calaims in the article—about the economies that come from maximizing the number of similar components, such as rafters, and the likelihood that contractors in even small communities wouldn’t be challenged by the complexity of many designs of that time—make it clear why so many are alleged to ahve been built from this prototype. Now, to find them.

UPDATE (22.12.2016): The web is remarkably silent about Bulger, considering his claim to have erected 100 churches in twenty states during a ten-year period. As they’re identified, I’ll link them here:

  • IN, Frankfort—First Baptist Church (—)
  • KS, Wellsville—First Baptist Church (1924)
  • OK, Hooker—Baptist Church (—) [possible]
  • OR, Bend—First Baptist Church—First Baptist Church (—)
  • OR, Portland—First Christian Church (—)
  • TX, Glen Rose—Methodist Church (—)
  • TX, Mexia—Baptist Church (—) [possible]
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