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Baptist Church, Bennington, VT

April 18, 2017

The test of any system is at ts fringe. If my nomenclature, the matrix of combinations and permutations among six auditorium types and the Sunday school configurations, can’t distinguish one A-A church from another, it’s time to pack it in. Indeed, I’ve tweaked it twice to adjust for my preconceptions. There is a fringe realm, however, where I’m left in a quandary: At what point does an auditorium and adjacent auxiliary wing qualify as A-A? The Baptist church in Bennington, Vermont makes the point.

Here from the pages of the American Architect & Building News of 1875 is a church with borderline A-A qualities. The Sunday school opens into the auditorium-sanctuary hesitantly, through two doors and what appears to be a screen or window, perhaps for borrowed light. Two questions come to mind: 1) the Sunday school has no subsidiary break-out spaces, hence is not truly an Akron Plan, and 2) the connection with the auditorium doesn’t permit total integration. So, does this building belong in the database. I’m doubtful.

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