Saturday, April 01, 2006

Modernist Churches in Milwaukee

Milwaukee has a nice collection of 1950s-1960s era Modernist churches, which make for a nice around-the-town tour as they're scattered across the inner suburbs and newer areas of the old city.

Click on any of the photos to view lots more of them on my Flickr.com account.


St. Stephen Martyr Church (now Chapel), N. 51st Street - 1969
A symphony of piercing angles and lapping shadows.




St. Matthias, 9300 W. Beloit Road - 1967
It features a finely detailed roof more powerful than a ship's prow, and a commanding corner wall of stained glass that glows spectacularly in the afternoon sun.



St. Rita, S. 60th Street
A glowing lantern of a building, with half the walls washed away by stained glass. The original architect returned to oversee a restoration in 2003, shortly before his death. It suffers from it city context; it's clearly an object, meant to be sitting like a crown on a hilltop.



Walther Memorial Lutheran Church, 4000 W. Fon du Lac - 1954
Fairly stock low Modernism -- right down to the characteristic orange brick.



Sacred Heart Academy and Monastary, 7300 S. Highway 100, s. of Hales Corners
Robert Venturi would call it a duck -- it's a building in the shape of the object it represents, in this case a giant crown. But within the bounds of the kitchy overall design are a number of enamoring details, including a wonderful arcade.

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