White (l), Langford Warren (r) (1)
This essay looks at
churches designed by the “older generation” of H. H. Richardson
assistants, namely Stanford White and Langford Warren.
Their churches, while still First Cousins, show far less similarity
to Shadyside Presbyterian than those of their “younger
generation” colleagues. This
may stem, in part, from the general design trajectories of White
(Classical and Renaissance) and Warren (Gothic and Arts & Crafts).
(See also Shadyside's Second Cousins, and Shadyside's
Lovely Lane United Methodist Church,
Stanford White was
heavily involved in the design of
, before leaving
’s office in 1878. After
entering practice with Charles McKim (also a
apprentice), White retained a little of his mentor’s emphasis on
picturesque architecture, mainly in his Shingle Style residences.
New York City
), nominally Romanesque, is actually Italianate (a Classical derivation).
Lane United Methodist Church (2)
his flair for the picturesque in a delightfully eccentric church in
Baltimore – Lovely Lane Methodist. Built
in 1884, its tall, tapering tower looks all the more massive with its
slit-like windows. White might
have drawn such a tower to illustrate a fairy tale, but it has an actual
Romanesque model, the Abbey of Santa Maria di Pomposa, in
(ca 1036). The model tower
itself is somewhat eccentric, with slit windows at the bottom and
progressively wider colonnades as the elevation increases.
Santa Maria di Pomposa, model for Lovely Lane Church
Lane Tower (3)
The balance of the
church shows itself to be derived from Italian Romanesque.
The arches, although substantial, are more delicate than those at
Shadyside, with its inspiration of central
. While the towers of both
churches are defining features, they could hardly be more different.
tower with its conical roof calls attention to the church sanctuary, but
stands apart from it. Shadyside’s
tower is the church. White did
apply some features used in
’s office, such as hip roofed dormers and eyebrow windows.
at Lovely Lane (l) (3) and Shadyside (r)
Lovely Lane Church
has undergone careful and faithful restoration over several decades, both
inside and outside. The
sanctuary has been returned to its original bold Victorian colors,
reminiscent of those at Trinity,
. This imparts a vibrancy and
authenticity that was lost when this and countless other church interiors
acquired bland colors. The
auditorium arrangement shows Stanford White responding to the typical
preference of mid- to late-nineteenth century Evangelical congregations.
The theater style seats (as at
’s West End
Methodist) are radially arrayed around the pulpit, with a
gallery level providing optimum proximity to the worship leaders.
The color, seating arrangement, stage and sloped floor relate it to
Shadyside’s original 1890 sanctuary.
Theater Style Seats, Gallery &
Restored Colors at Lovely Lane (3)
John the Divine Project, New York City
St. John the Divine Competition Entry (1)
a year after White departed and stayed until 1884.
While he shared a medieval sensibility with his mentor, it was
expressed by Gothic in his realized projects.
We see one notable Romanesque example in his unsuccessful
competition entry for
the Divine (
New York City
). He chose as his inspiration
’s (also unsuccessful) competition entry for the Cathedral of All Saints
. This project was in the
office in 1882, when
was lead assistant. He took
structure a symmetry and a dominance of the central tower over the
offered a dome rather than the pyramid tower.
Some suggest that the
tower was the source of the proportion that Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge
(SR&C) applied at Shadyside. This is probably based on a
misinterpretation of the West Front elevation drawing, which does not
depict the design in correct perspective.
H Richardson's Competition Entry, Cathedral of All Saints, Albany (4)
appears to have been close to both Charles Allerton Coolidge and Alexander
Wadsworth Longfellow, of the younger generation.
Each, in turn, succeeded him as
’s chief draftsman. Warren
and Longfellow cooperated in the founding of the Boston Arts & Crafts
interrupted his professional practice in 1893 to establish Harvard’s
curriculum in architecture. Coolidge
donated funds for the school's book and photograph collection. Longfellow
and SR&C both designed a significant number of Harvard buildings, as
did McKim, Mead & White.
Swedenborg Chapel (1)
’s most successful church designs were
for Swedenborgian congregations in Gothic Revival style.
He took the English parish church as a pattern for Cambridge
Swedenborg Chapel in 1901. This
church relates to a neighbor of Shadyside’s in
. It was the model for the
in Point Breeze, designed by Harold Thorp Carswell (of
by way of Ralph Adams Cram’s
New Church, Pittsburgh, based on Cambridge Chapel
And so, Stanford
White and Langford Warren departed from
’s office and his Romanesque sooner than their younger colleagues.
Eventually, George Shepley, Charles Coolidge, and Wadsworth
Longfellow embraced the Classical Revival movement, where White and McKim
led. Frank Alden remained
closer to Warren (and Richardson) in his Arts & Crafts sensibility.
Each, none the less, produced churches that show varying affinity
to Shadyside Presbyterian as their First Cousin.
your comments and questions
Maureen Meister, Architecture and the Arts and Crafts Movement in
Boston, Harvard's H. Langford Warren University Press of New England
Jeffery Howe, Houses of Worship, Thunder Bay Press 2003
From Lovely Lane United Methodist Church website
Courtesy Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson