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 Upjohn’s more substantial buildings in stone were built in larger Northeastern cities, the smaller towns closer to the frontier of settlement used cheaper wood construction in the style known as Carpenter Gothic. While Upjohn began by providing low-cost plans to small parishes directly on request for reduced or no fee, in 1852 he published Upjohn’s Rural Architecture, which inspired countless local architects to use or modify his plans, or make their own in a similar style.
These are only a few samples of the rural churches designed or inspired by Upjohn; no complete inventory exists.
- Upjohn’s Rural Architecture: Designs, working drawings, and specifications for a wooden church, and other rural structures (Da Capo, 1975 ). Review Landau
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).Read More »