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Reformed Church, Staten Island, NY

October 4, 2018

Reformed Church, Staten Island, NY / Sunday School designed by Oscar S. Teale (1898)

Though he appears not to have designed a significant number of churches, New Jersey architect Oscar S. Teale is connected with several Sunday schools, often additions to earlier churches designed by others. Such is the case at the Dutch Reformed Church in State Island, NY. Added in 1898 to a much earlier Greek Revival church, this is one of the “purest” and most intact Akron Plans that I’ve seen.

Vincent Chapel, another Akron Plan facility designed by Oscar Teale

It’s impossible to look at these fragmentary images (of a building I’ve not yet seen) and fail to make a connection with La Ruche, a collection of artists’ studios in Paris.

Originally, La Ruche (“the beehive”) was a wine bar at the 1900 Paris Exposition—designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel—which was then dismantled and re-erected in the Passage Dantzig of the 15th Arrondissement. There is became economical studio space for artists. I’m not suggesting any direct connection between these two buildings—indeed, if there were, it would have been Teale’s influence on the Paris building—but the “programs”, diverse as they were, share several characteristics.

“La Ruche” Artists’ Studios, Paris (1900) / original design by Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exposition

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