This past Saturday morning, Raleigh’s brick-and-mortar, stone-and-glass, terra-cotta and zinc churches opened their doors for a “first annual Church walk.” Our family actively attends a church in the city, but the first time we heard about this tour was when we discovered a small article on the Friday obituary pages of the newspaper. It was a beautiful morning for a walk, and I snuck into a few of the churches, but I felt underprepared for the experience.
On a lazy Saturday, I hadn’t showered yet, I kept my ball-cap on. This, of course, meant that I had to mostly stand outside the churches and look in. The church attendants were remarkably welcoming and knowledgeable, but I played the part of the wayfaring stranger just to see how it felt. I’m not a great actor.
I will say that the interiors were extraordinarily and surprisingly beautiful. I was often drawn in, despite my hat-hair, to enjoy the height and the craftsmanship and the colored light through stained glass. It’s notable that these interiors are some of the most beautiful and rich places I’ve found in our city.
We attend church within a very specific denomination. We drive past these historic and perseverant buildings every Sunday until we get to the sidestreet that leads to our own small assembly that meets in a school. Architecturally, it’s very confusing. I can see Venturi’s Duck in my head, and it gets me every Sunday.
Andy Osterlund AIA | LEED AP
Andrew Osterlund, Architect, PLLC
GREEN | URBAN | SMART ARCHITECTURE
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