Wednesday, December 8, 2010

10 in '10 : #2 - St. Martin's Lutheran Church


Photo credit: Grace Cynkar
St. Martin's Lutheran Church
Architect: Jessen, Jessen, Millhouse and Greeven (1960)
Contractor: Archie C. Fitzgerald
606 West 15th Street, 78701

St. Martin's Lutheran Church is significant because of the history of it's congregation and due to the prominence of the architects. The congregation was founded in 1884. It's first church was constructed at the same time as the capitol. By 1959, the congregation had grown to be one of the five largest Lutheran Congregations in the state of Texas. Jessen, Jessen, Millhouse and Greeven was a prominent architectural firm in Austin. The church building was one of several religious structures designed by the firm. The church is in a modernist interpretation of the romanesque style. The exterior character defining feature is the large vaulted roof of the structure.

Photo credit: piarch.comText: Grace Cynkar Edited by: Ken J.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

10 in '10 : #1 - Gethsemane Lutheran Church


This post kicks off a series of 10 posts where we show off our favorite projects that were documented in 2010. They are in no particular order.

Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Architect: Eugene Wukash (1962)
200 West Anderson Lane, 78752

The Gethsemane Lutheran Church is located on a 10-acre lot just off highway 183. There are two buildings on the campus. The Sanctuary itself is a double height structure built into a hill. The sanctuary building runs north to south with the narthex at the northern end resting on top of the hill so that the congregation may enter directly into the sanctuary. Tile mosaics on the wall above the entry to the sanctuary are beautiful but cannot compete with what awaits inside. The 36 ft. wall of dalle-de-verre glass forms the southern wall and was crafted by Gabriel Loire of Chartres, France and reassembled on site. As the hill drops away to the south, it reveals a bottom story beneath the sanctuary used for church offices and meeting rooms. A 12,000 sq. ft. educational wing connects to the narthex. Running perpendicular to the sanctuary, one enters the wing through the eastern side of the narthex. Tile mosaics on the floor of the lower level entry depict bible verses. The educational wing holds several classrooms and a nursery used for the church’s day care facility. An exit at the eastern end of the hall opens on to the church playground. On the far, eastern side of the playground sits the children’s ministry building. This building and the sanctuary are the two original 1963 structures. The educational wing and narthex were added in 1979. The children’s ministry building, like the sanctuary is built into a hillside. Approaching from the educational wing it appears to be only a single story. Once next to the building, however, one can see a second, lower story opening on the northern face of the hill.

Sanctuary interior
Photo credits: Grace Cynkar Text: Grace Cynkar, edited by Ken J.