Fischer von Erlach’s Church of Saint Charles, the Karlskirche, reflects the architect’s understanding of history — that is, of universal history, encompassing the whole story of civilization.
Each of the earliest colonial denominations has a typical building still standing from the seventeenth century: Spanish missions in the Southwest, Anglicans in Virginia and Maryland, Puritans in New England, Quakers in the Mid-Atlantic, Dutch Reformed in New Netherland, Lutherans in New Sweden.
During the nineteenth century, new churches sprang up following settlement and population growth. These included Episcopal congregations, which frequently preferred the Gothic or “pointed” style of which Richard Upjohn was the best-known exponent thanks to his Trinity Church in New York.
Whereas the Gothic was associated with the medieval period and the established church (i.e. Anglican or Catholic), the more primitive and archaic Romanesque was preferred by the less liturgical Protestant denominations (i.e. Presbyterians, Congregationalists and low-church Anglicans). Continue reading “High church, low church, and the Romanesque Revival”