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Second Reformed Church, Zeeland, MI

August 2, 2017

What is it that makes space “sacred”? Dimly lit, incense-filled, dramatically directional volumes? The Reformation brought us another paradigm: clarity of form, utility of function, and economy of means. I’d give a lot to be inside this Reformed church in hyper-Dutch Zeeland, Michigan to experience the effect to that hovering octagonal light monitor. Put this anywhere near a small college campus and it might be mistaken for a modest auditorium or lecture hall — which, of course, it is. How much would you bet that the double-stacked Sunday school wing had a physical connection with the auditorium?

The architect in 1910 was Pierre Lindhout, who began his Grand Rapids architectural career as an apprentice in the office of Sidney J. Osgood, another of the hemi-demi-semigods of the A-A movement. One on-line source identifies Lindhout as “one of the most prolific Grand Rapids architects….” Let’s hope that list includes a substantial number of churches.

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