Spiritual Armories on the New Suburban Landscape

Jeanne Halgren Kilde

in When Church Became Theatre

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143416
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834372 | DOI:
Spiritual Armories on the New Suburban Landscape

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After the Civil War, population growth, industrialization, and urbanization significantly affected evangelical congregations. As many established congregations decided to move away from their original downtown locations and build churches in the new suburbs, church mission, location, and architectural style became intertwined. The trend toward medievalism and the widespread adoption of the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style underscored the domestic or member‐focused internal mission of congregations while at the same time indicating their perception of the risky nature of outreach and evangelizing missions in heterogeneous urban neighborhoods. Resembling armories, these buildings articulated middle‐class ambivalence toward urban life, at once safely sheltering members yet also providing a redoubt from whence forays into the broader community could be launched. This chapter uses a case study approach to investigate congregations and their church buildings, and includes Lovely Lane Church in Baltimore, designed by architect Stanford White, and Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church in Denver, designed by Robert S. Roeschlaub among several buildings examined.

Keywords: church mission; Lovely Lane Church; Medievalism; Richardsonian Romanesque; Robert S. Roeschlaub; Stanford White; suburbs; Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church; urbanization

Chapter.  13066 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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