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Congregational Church, Wolfeboro, NH

August 18, 2017

The hipped gable is a designer’s trick to make a building seem shorter, more ground hugging. t might almost be thatch. You can see them at both ends of the Congregational church in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The architect has also used buttresses skillfully to further anchor this building to its site.

Early in the 20th century—about the time this church was built—the Architectural Record magazine published a series of articles on principles of architectural design, by which they meant composition: axes, playing games with symmetry, establishing hierarchies of elements, and similar visual aspects of three-dimensional design. I was reminded of those articles when looking at this building. Notice the way the sturdy square tower and the gabled “transept”, assymetrical yet balancing the center of the composition, and that dormer on the far right. Now, how these exterior considerations reflect interior function is a matter to be explored.

In 2010, the congregation found the building in deep structural difficulty. So it was demolished and a”ghost image” was created with a similar profile.

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