Monday, December 15, 2008

An Urban Church

We welcomed this opportunity to look at the folds, portals and beautiful details of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The film is produced in conjunction with the Historic Preservation Network.  

The church is designed by architect Ralph Adam Cram, in Neo-Gothic style.  After the musical introduction, the footage is accompanied by the "music" of natural city sounds.  At first the street noise seemed intrusive, but thinking of the beautiful building in the context of its urban sounds became very pleasing and somehow further ennobled the church.

An American architect, 1863-1942, Cram was an ardent exponent of Gothic architecture, Cram produced many collegiate and ecclesiastical works in a neo-Gothic style. Among these are the redesign of part of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City; the graduate school and chapel at Princeton; and buildings at Williams College, Phillips Exeter Academy, Rice University, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  His works are considered masterpieces.

Cram, bestowed a gem on Baltimore.  He designed Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church at Park and Lafayette in Baltimore's own Bolton Hill neighborhood.  It's worth a visit. Take your camera!  

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