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Lancaster: Architecture in Faith Journal Assignment First Presbyterian Church – 140 East Orange Street, Lancaster, PA 17603

A. Overview the state of research

The website for the First Presbyterian Church is very informative and has a lot of information about the history of the church. When I visited the church this weekend, I noticed that there are a lot of historical documents, maps and references through the church that will also aid in information for the research topic. It was also apparent that members of the parish and the community were well informed of the churches history. Though the internet and historical maps and documents will be useful from the Franklin and Marshall Library and the historical society, I believe that personal contact with the church itself and the site will give me the most information about the churches history. The Rineer book also gives a good overview of the history of the church, as well as four book titles that would be good sources for further research. The book also explains some of the church records as well as some of the services that the church can provide for the public and its community. I know that there will be quite a few records of this site because when we first saw the maps of the history of Lancaster, The First Presbyterian Church was a location on all of them, meaning that it has been an important site for Lancaster history.

B. Research Topic

I plan on discussing the additions and timeline of the church construction and renovations. It is obvious that the church has been on the site for quite a while, but it is noticeable that there are considerable additions and renovations to keep up with the needs of the parish as well as the modernizing community. I will study the church in segments and learn of each addition and its use and why it was needed at the time of construction.

C. Methodologies used to answer issue

Though visuals are a big help in learning which segments are separate form other structures of the church, I will use records of church literature and history to learn of the churches presence in the community and why additions were needed. There is a lot of in depth information about the church history on their website. It is a very well developed website with much to learn. There is also a lot of very specific information on all of the stained-glass windows in the church, which I have learned are very rare to have so many and such large windows at a Presbyterian church. I also plan on studying the architectural styles through history to differentiate from time periods. After attending a service and keeping a close eye on the church interior since it was the first time that I had been inside, I thought it was a beautiful location, large, inviting, but also very well decorated. The stained glass windows will definitely be a topic of research because I learned how special and unique they were to the church.

D. Photograph representing the problem

With these photos taken of the church, I wanted to represent as best possible the different structures of the church and my “problem” will be – why integrate styles and materials over time and what was the reasoning for expansion over time.

Bethel African Methodist Episocpal Church Research Proposal

450 East Strawberry Street

Latitude and Longitude (40° 1’52.30″N, 76°18’11.05″W)

Also known as St. James African Church

1. State of Scholarship

Rineer’s text indicates only 4 sources of documentation, which includes the church’s date stone. Of these few items, I have located 2/3 of the other records. In Ellis and Evans piece, The History of Lancaster County, published in 1883, only a short paragraph was included on the church, mainly focusing on the construction of the first building. Meanwhile, H. M. J. Klein, a former History professor of Franklin and Marshall College, published a book titled The History of St. James’ Church, documenting a 200 year span from 1744 to 1944. Visually, the text also includes sketches of previous clergy and also photographs of the sanctuary and stained glass windows. The third source is an article found in the Lancaster Sunday News which I intend to locate, hopefully at the Lancaster Historical Society.

2. Research Question

As one of the first churches in Lancaster, this structure and congregation has an extensive history and longstanding connection to the community. In particular, St. James’ was one of the first churches to center on the African American community. For my research project I intend to further explore the church’s history, in hopes of uncovering how the active participation of the African American community has directly influenced the development of the congregation and structure of the building. Additionally, I would like to study not only the history of the people and their church but also the affiliated school.

3. Methods

My first and foremost strategy to begin uncovering this narrative is to become intricately involved with the congregation. I intend to interview some of the older congregational members and the clergy to document their experiences. While I will also meet extensively with the church’s historian, I believe the people will provide a substantial degree of personal interactions and intimate experiences with the church absent within scholarly texts. However, with that said, meeting with the historian will provide further information for the foundation of this project.

St. James’ Episcopal Research Proposal

St. James’ Episcopal Church

Arts & Crafts Movement- Mercer tiles

A)   State of Scholarship

There has been a great deal of research into St. James’ Episcopal Church as it is one of the oldest churches in Lancaster. From Rineer’s text there were several resources listed. Many of these sources contained similar information about the church’s history. Hotchkin’s book County Clergy goes into details about the first clergy members of St. James’ and has extensive details of the church even before the present building was constructed. H.M.J Klein’s book Lancaster County Pennsylvania History has ample information as well. Klein’s book goes into detail about when each phase of the church was built starting with the original stone church, which was demolished in 1818. The present building, made of brick, was built in 1820. A Sunday school was built in 1821, but burned down in 1843. In 1903 the tower was built where the school once stood. Rineer also lists H.M.J Klein’s History of St. James’ Church and the St. James’ Church Records. After looking through the books that Rineer lists as a start, I used the Franklin and Marshall College library to find more historical information on St. James’ Episcopal Church. I have found St. James’ Church: An historical paper written by Edward Brinton that is located in the special collections. I have been unable to access that thus far, but am looking to do so in the near future for further research.

Once I had chosen the Mercer tiles located in the apse as the specific focus of my research proposal I decided to look further into the Arts & Crafts movement, as well as the Mercer tiles in St. James’ Episcopal specifically. I am unfamiliar with the Arts & Crafts movement so I started my research there. At the Franklin and Marshall College library I found ample information. One of the most useful texts was Peter Davey’s book, Architecture of the Arts & Crafts Movement.  This book gave very useful information on how the arts and crafts movement began and what some of the key features are. Another helpful text for the basic history of the movement was Wendy Kaplan’s “The Art that is Life”: The Arts & Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920.

After looking into the history I began to specifically look into Henry Chapman Mercer, the artist of the tiles in St. James’ Episcopal Church. There was limited information about the tiles in the basic history texts, beyond the fact that they were presented in 1916. In Cleota Reed’s book Henry Chapman Mercer and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works there is detailed about Mercer’s work and involvement in the Arts & Crafts movement. There is also an entire section dedicated to Bible tiles. There is however, limited information specifically related to St. James’ Episcopal. I also looked into some of Mercer’s own work including The Bible in Iron, and Decorated Stove Plates. These books also gave helpful insight into Mercer and the history of his work.

B)   Research Proposal

The information on the Arts & Crafts Movement is ample and there is information on Henry Chapman Mercer, but the specifics on why the Arts & Crafts tiles were chosen for St. James’ Episcopal Church has not become evident thus far in my research. I would therefore, like to look more deeply into that. After attending a service and speaking with a few members of the congregation about my project they all immediately began telling me about the tiles, emphasizing how important they are to the congregation and that they are a point of pride. I would like to investigate why these tiles were chosen for the church and how the Arts & Crafts Movement relates to St. James’ Episcopal, as well as its relation to that particular vein of Christianity.

C)   Research Method

I would like to continue using the Franklin and Marshall College library resources on St. James’ Episcopal, specifically taking a trip to the special collections and archives. I would also like to continue my research on Mercer and the Arts & Crafts Movement, specifically how it relates to religion. I am also interested to see what the Lancaster County Historical Society has to offer. From my initial research it is already evident that they hold many of St. James’ records. I also am planning to speak with Leo Shelly, who is the church historian and was already recommended to me as having information on the tiles as well as possible recommendations for me of other experts to speak with. I would also like to take a trip to the Mercer Museum to gain more information about the artist and the movement. 

Spiritual Transformation Through Architectural Means

Research Proposal, Observations, and Methodologies:

Some students might have taken this class to learn more about Lancaster the city, others to understand the sociological networks of the city and its population across time. Some even might want to better understand the religious dynamism of this small metropolis. I however wanted to focus mainly on the architectural and visual formation of the city through its monumental architecture. Fortunately for us our seminar, ‘Lancaster: Architecture of Faith’ is an art history course which encompasses all of these exploration-topics through the tangible buildings of the city. Art and architecture leave living, touchable remnants of its inhabitants etched in stone, brick, and wood. For our purposes, Lancaster’s churches are the Mecca of source and knowledge in which we can better understand its past.

As cities grow, population changes. Immigrants come, settle and assimilate while existing groups might move to outlying suburbs as described in depth by Professor Schuyler’s book “A City Transformed.” Art and architecture are thus, inherently altered. Ornamentation, structure and overall aesthetic appeal are changed, morphed, emphasized or deemphasized according to the innumerable algorithm of population identity at a given period of time.

Discussing this visible/tangible change of interior and exterior design and form, over a period of time is a very intriguing topic that I am excited to delve into; however, I plan to focus my scope in between the late 18th century to the mid 20th century churches that still stand. The churches in question being:

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Evangelical Lutheran (1761-66)First United Church of Christ (1852-54) Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1881) St. James’ Protestant Episcopal Church (1818) First Presbyterian Church (1850) First United Methodist Church (1889) The First Church of God (1925) As well as the former sites: Lancaster Moravian Church (1879) Lancaster Friends Meeting house and Graveyard (1759) Lancaster Church of Brethren (1860-61) The First Pentecostal Church, Assembly of God (1884)

*date in parenthesis the date of existing structure still standing, does not refer to any subsequent renovations, alternations, or editions.

Rineer sites at least 2 bibliographic references for each of these churches and a google search for each church yielded great results, with the exception of course for former sites. Unfortunately however, many of the churches I checked out online did not delve greatly into the church’s history, instead mainly focusing on contemporary ministry. After surfing their websites looking for old photographs of the churches to demonstrate a visible transformation over time and yielding nothing, I turned to http://www.cardcow.com to find a smattering of snap shots in time. I posted some of these great examples below.

In addition to websites and Rineer I was able to get a hold of a book discussing Lancaster Architecture 1700-1850 as well as one about general early Pennsylvanian architecture in the library. These books also have some great photographic evidence of some of the churches original placement in the city and common building methodologies among early American congregations. I also found a great book that gives a general historical background to religious life in Lancaster city entitled “The Practice of Pluralism: Congregation Life and Religious Diversity in Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1730-1820,” which interestingly explores the dichotomy between the early and dominant German settlers versus the minority English inhabitants in colonial Lancaster. Lastly I checked out and attached photographs of an Atlas of Lancaster County published in 2006. In flipping through Lancaster’s “brief history” section I came to realize the impact and history the Christian churches stamped on the small city apparent through the photographs of the structures on the pages showcasing prominent landmark and important buildings.

My methodology for this project will start with a mapping of churches over an interval of time, learning what was renovated, changed, moved, or appended; starting first with my own contemporary map of the city furnished with my own thumbnail photographs and going back to the beginnings of Lancaster as a city. I hope to create a booklet or digitized version of this ‘church atlas’ of Lancaster to see the building and expansion of new movements, but most importantly, for my interests, to see the visible transformation of style within church architecture and aestheticism. I plan also to make my own timeline of sketches focusing of stained glass scenes, architectural pediments, altars, stages of the cross and more to create a visual database of interior/exterior aesthetics in historical Lancaster city.

St. Mary’s Church Research Proposal

St. Mary’s Church- Roman Catholic

A. State of Scholarship:

Rineer has given a brief outline of the history of the church, which helps with the understanding of other information found on St. Mary’s Church. Rineer also gives a list of 7 books/articles that were cited in the summary of the churches history, which gives direction on where to start researching the parish. Although Rineer gives a place to start, the books that are listed are hard to find, and took searching on WorldCat to find their location. A few of the books are at the Lancaster Historical Society, and I intend to look through them during class on March 1st, and others are at the Lancaster Public Library (which I hope to be able to become a member of so that I can check out books), the State Library of Pennsylvania, the NY Public Library (which I plan on visiting during spring break) and some are in the archives in Harrisburg at the diocese office.  Other searching on Lancaster’s website and on the web, I was able to find that St. Mary’s is a part of the walking tour called Freedom of Religion. I printed out the guide and was able to find more basic information on the history of the church (a log cabin was built and destroyed by arsonists, a limestone church was built, a brick church was built west of the stone church, a fire destroyed the inside of the church, the church was rebuilt as a gothic revival house of worship, the stone church was dismantled, and finally a new larger front section was added to the rectory), how the church was accepted when the church came to Lancaster city, a more detailed description of the churches history was explained (the fires, reconstruction, the building of a new church, the move of the German catholic to leave St. Mary’s and to build St. Josephs). The pamphlet also indicates the painter of the oil paintings above the alter, Costaggini, who was an artist from Rome who was the painter of the frieze encircling the Rotunda in the nations capitol (his work may be an interesting topic to write about). St. Mary’s also had informed me that they have a book on their history that can be viewed, and I have made an appointment to read the book. St. Mary’s website also has a brief history of the parish, and I took key words out and found articles on Catholicism and the catholic church. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg also has an archive that I plan on visiting when I have a whole day free to drive to Harrisburg.

B.  Contact with the church:

I have emailed the secretary of the churches office and she has indicated that the church does have a lot of interesting history to offer and that the staff are too busy to answer historical questions but there is a book that I can review in the office after making an appointment. I plan on contacting the Pastor and seeing if he will sit with me once a bit more research has been done to help me gain a feeling of the current church and congregation (for I have only attended one service and cannot make conclusions off of that. I do plan on attending more to get more of a feeing of how the space is used in the church).

C. Service

I attended the Ash Wednesday services at St. Mary’s church but was unable to attend a “normal” mass this week. I plan on attending a mass next weekend so that I can compare a Sunday mass to a “holiday” mass. There were a few things that I noticed during the mass about the church that I was unaware of before. I was able to take a good look at the ceilings, and because my attention was focused on the alter I was able to look at the artwork and statues that surround the alter area. I also took a glance to the sides of the pews and noticed that the Stations of the Cross were intricate and that there were paintings of saints above the windows. While looking around the church at its art and architecture during a mass, I felt more connected to the art and it gave off the vibe of a more spiritual environment. I did notice however that the congregation was not at all interested in the art and architecture but was interested in getting their ashes and leaving. I feel that attending a Sunday mass where people have more time and are there because they want to be will give me a better understanding of the congregation’s appreciation for the church. After reading about the church I now have more of an appreciation for the art and the building itself, because the building went though a lot to get where it is today. I found that the service proceeded as a normal service did however ashes were given out. The priest entered the church and greeted the congregation, prayer and song took place, a member of the congregation read the first reading, then the second reading, the gospel and homily, then the preparation of gifts, offering of peace, communion and finals dismissal. I found that the members of the congregation mostly went up to receive communion and all offered one another peace, although they did not shake hands as we do at my church at home. Because the mass was during lent, the statues were covered and the rests and the alter were covered in purple cloth. One thing that I noticed that I did not notice the first time I visited the church, was that there is a pulpit like structure that the reading took place on. This surprised me because I did not think that a pulpit was characteristic of a catholic church but the protestant church. This is something that I find interesting and would like to take a look into. Only the front of the church, the isle and the back of the church were used, besides for the congregation, during the mass. All the attention was focused towards the front of the church where the alter was. This is where the priest sat, the readings were read, communion was prepared, song was lead etc. The back of the church was where the organ resided and no one looked at the organ but took for granted the music it provided. I am really excited to attend another mass so that I can compare the two services. It may also be interesting to attend a service at another Roman Catholic Church in Lancaster that way the service could be compared to another.

D. Research Question:

Originally in class I decided that I was going to research the current St. Mary’s church and slowly peel back history until I knew all about the history of the three main rebuilding’s and their construction. I was thinking that I could study the small log cabin church, the fire that destroyed it, the stone church that was built with limestone from the original jailhouse in Lancaster City after that, and the brick structure that stands currently. After, researching the church, and taking a closer look at the art and architecture of the church I have rethought my research question. I would like to research the current art of the church, ie the stained glass windows, the Stations of the Cross, the oil paintings above the alter, and the statues. I have read that after the fire of 1868 the church required reconstruction and restoration and I think it would be interesting to research the reconstruction and the artists that were required to reconstruct the interior of the church. I plan on researching the current works (what they represent, their style) and the artists and architects (Edwin F. Durang and Fillipo Costaggini) that created the church that is standing today. I also plan on briefly discussing the church’s history because it is very interesting due to the fact that the church is one that is a historical landmark in Lancaster City. My main focus is going to be what happened after the fire of 1867 and the reconstruction that took place to create St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.

E. Research Methods:

I plan on continuing to look for books specifically on St. Mary’s and to take a trip to the diocese of Harrisburg to get more books on the church. Once I have a tentative thesis, I plan on looking for articles and books on the artists and architectures that reconstructed the interior of the church. I also plan on researching the area around St. Mary’s church at the time and the influence it may have had on the reconstruction. I also plan on looking for books and articles about the gothic revival period, as the current St. Mary’s is Gothic Revival. I plan on looking for newspaper articles in the archives and on microfilm and maps and visiting the Lancaster Historical Society frequently to get pictures of the church and information about the reconstruction. I have gathered a list of books and articles that can be found at the Lancaster Historical Society and plan on looking for them tomorrow during our class visit there.

Shaarai Shomayim Research Proposal

State of Scholarship:

Two of the books about Jews in Lancaster (David Brener’s The Jews of Lancaster, Pennsylvania : a story with two beginnings and his Lancaster’s gates of heaven : portals to the past : the 19th century Jewish community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Congregation Shaarai Shomayim, 1856-1976) were already checked out of the library. I ordered them on EZ Borrow and Interlibrary loan, and hope to receive them within a week or two. Frederic Shriver Klein’s A History of The Jews in Lancaster, explains the Jewish community that was in Lancaster from the colonial period onwards. It explains who the important members of the community were and what was the nature of the Jewish community during the early history of the Congregation. Furthermore, it gives an overview of the founding of the Congregation and its move to the Duke Street location. Richard Altick’s Of a Place and Time: Remembering Lancaster, although more of a memoir than a scholarly work, explains the role the congregation played in the society from the perspective of some who grew up in Lancaster. Klein’s atlas of the Lancaster County history found in the reference room, also briefly mentions the congregation and its prominent members. The Ellis and Evans encyclopedia that Rineer refers to provides an overall description of the early years of the congregation, but since it was written before the founding of the Duke Street synagogue, it will not be enormously useful. Although not exactly a “scholarly” source, Congregation Shaarai Shomayim’s website has a good overview of the congregation, explaining the history of the congregation from its founding to the present.

After going to services this past weekend, I noticed how there were a lot of traditional elements in the sanctuary, but also a lot of modern touches. So I came up with the following proposal.

Research Proposal:

The Reform movement of Judaism is known for its ability to be up to date with modern culture and society. However, Congregation Shaarai Shomayim is over 100 years old and is housed in a historic, very traditional looking synagogue. How does a reform religious institution stay up to date with society while simultaneously respecting and harboring tradition?  By examining the architectural changes of the building and researching the history of the synagogue through archival sources and oral histories, I hope to explore how the Congregation both maintains its traditions (architectural and religious) and modernizes to meet new ideologies, norms, technological and other social changes.

Method:

-Examining the architecture: I will look in depth into the building itself. I will first try to find the original elements of the building and understand why it was built in that way. Next I will explore what modifications and additions were added onto the building. What purpose do these additions serve? Do they work with the original tradition of the building? Do they change or add anything from the building? Do the represent an ideological change?

-Oral History: I plan on interviewing several people from the congregation in order to get a better sense of the congregation history and how they use the space

-Personal observations of the services: to witness how the building is used now.

-Primary document research: I hope to find early photographs and newspaper articles that will show and explain how the building has changed and possibly give explanations to why it did so.

-Secondary research: I plan to use the information already written about the synagogue, plus any scholarly information on other buildings about how synagogues work to maintain tradition while also modernizing. 

Photographs:

Below are the photographs I took of the outside of the building. I have yet to take pictures of the inside of the building as both times I was there, it was the Jewish Shabbat, and one is not allowed to take photographs. However, pictures of the inside of the sanctuary can be found here: http://shaarai.org/index.php/photos/

1. Church of the Holy Trinity Research Project

A.  My research project is focusing on The Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The first step was researching the existing scholarship of the church.  The first source I consulted was the Rineer book which provides a good timeline on the history of the church and its development.  This was very helpful because it shed light on the already existing information about my previous notions for a research question.  Most of the scholarship existing on the church Is historical records of marriages, deaths, baptisms, and other situations that would required official government paperwork.  The scholarship not relating to official historical records focused on the history of the luthern church in general rather specifically on the church under research for this class.  Also, due to the extreme age of the church there is a lot of scholarship simply due to keeping historical records on the changes of the church and scholarship relating to the mention of the church due to its historical importance to lancaster.

B.  Researching the previous scholarship was very helpful in deciding what topic to specifically study for the research project.  This is true because intitially I thought taking this project in the direction of the cemetary might be beneficial.  However, after visiting the church for a service on Sunday I was extremely impressed at the detail and extravagancey of the inside of the church.  From my research on previous scholarship I knew that the church did not start out like this, soon after the steeple was added there was an interior design change.  I would like to further research what the purpose, meaning, and function of the altar is now compared to its original state when the church was orignally constructed.

C.  My research methods for going about this start with furthering my talks with people within the congregation.  I have meetings set up with the resident scholar in order to gain a more in depth understanding of the current knowledge on the altar.  Also, by looking into the most recent changes to the church and interior it is possible to better understand why the congregation has made changes to the church they did.  Also it seems necessary to try and access the historical records and maps to see how the structure of the interior and exteroir has changed and also to see what details may exist that have relevance to my research topic.  The best method for this topic appears to be talking more with historians from the church to gain there perspective on the topic for my research.

Journal Entries from Church Investigations

Art271

Responses

03/01/10

Dr. K. Kourelis

My first time out to examine my assigned churches was on a Wednesday, a very cold Wednesday at that.  The day was rather gloomy and finding some of the churches on my list was not so simple.  In fact some of them I more than just once got the address messed up.  That, therefore, required some more reworking and looking things up until I could find them.  I got a bit frustrated trying to find street parking to get out and look at the churches, but it seemed to all turn out alright.  On day one, I was even able enter one of the churches.  The people there were friendly and it inspired me to see the beauty encompassing the interior façade.  The next church was in an area with many children standing around and yelling profanities- that was not so enticing.  My third church was close to F&M, but when I first looked for it, I passed it not realizing it was even a church.  Day two of looking, was also very cold.  I felt like I was driving around in circles trying to find my next church.  After my fifth time down the same street I think I may have even experienced a drug deal occurring; or some serious disrespect for fellow drivers.  The people around town/the areas I was in that day were not so friendly, nor were the areas.  I was able to locate just one church that day.  After doing so, I was too frustrated as night was approaching.  So, I called it a day.  My friend, Meredith, and I drove back to school after experiencing a day of “discoveries”- in more than just one way. (February 1, 2010)

My third journey into Lancaster was on a very snowy Friday.  There was nothing seemingly out of the ordinary about this trip; I was able to collect my last 3 photographs and information on my assigned churches in the N.W. quadrant of Lancaster city.  However, during this trip I came across my first non-existing church location out of the 6 that I was examining.  The building seemed very abandoned and ordinary- more similar to a residence or commercial meeting space rather than a place of worship.. The Miracle Temple Pentecostal did not seem, at least from the exterior façade, to resemble much of anything.  The Christ Church Scientist seemed more like a Federal/Adam’s style of architecture and not really “church like” as we’d envision it to be today.  Other than some comments from some strange men walking down the street as I was walking up with my friend, everything on this trip went smoothly- it seemed much easier this go around to find and locate my assigned addresses.  (None of the buildings were, however, open at this time)

The Architectural Exterior and Interior Structural Changes of St. Joseph Church Pre & Post Expansion

Art271

Journal Assignment: Research Project

03/01/10

Dr. K. Kourelis

St. Joseph Church

(Roman Catholic)

Lancaster, PA

1849/1850

A. Overview of the State of Research

(No bibliographic resources found in Rineer; records prior to 1920 are in Latin- microfilm copy of records, LCHS.)

Brief History from St. Joseph Church’s 160th Anniversary:

“St. Joseph Church was established in 1849 by German immigrants who had settled in the neighborhood of Lancaster, which later became known as Cabbage Hill.  In the 1880s the current brick church was built “around” the original smaller church.  The beautiful church was built and decorated in the style of the southern German churches with which the original immigrants were quite familiar.  The steeple of the church, sitting high atop the Hill, has been a familiar landmark in the Lancaster landscape ever since.  For many years, the Mass at St. Joseph Church was in German, the language of the original parishioners.  The historic and grand 30-rank tracker organ was newly installed in 1891 by Carl Barckhoff and, after a renovation, is still used at Sunday Mass.  During the 20th century, the ethnic background of the area gradually changed and St. Joseph Church now welcomes and serves people of various nationalities and cultures.”

Elements of Structural Significance within St. Joseph Church:

- Taken from A Short History of the Carl Barckhoff Organ-

In the mid-1880s, St. Joseph’s Parish, having outgrown its church, built a larger one around the old building so that services would not be interrupted during construction.  Once this project was finished, the old church now contained within the new, was demolished.  At this time, the organ built by Joseph Burlington of Philadelphia for the first edifice was retained for use in the second.  In fact, it may not have even been necessary to move the organ at all, since the bell tower and back wall- and perhaps the organ gallery- of the old church remained part of the new one.  However, several years after this, the parish, under the leadership of Fr. Francis X. Schmidt, commissioned the Barckhoff Church Organ Company of Salem, OH to build a new, two-manual, twenty-nine rank instrument for St. Joseph’s.

Today, the 1891 Carl Barckhoff organ is one of only a few extant examples of this builder’s larger instruments, the other two being in New Albany, IN and Auburn, NY.  Its historical importance is like that of a “statue, old colonial house, or covered bridge,” a great treasure of this parish.  Even more importantly, it serves as a fine liturgical instrument.

- Taken from St. Joseph Catholic Church Pamphlet

  • History of Saint Joseph Church (pertaining to research topic)

Land on a hill Southwest of St. Mary was purchased for $260 and construction of a church was started.  The street on which the property faced was names St. Joseph Street at that time.  The first church built for the parish was small, seating about 400.  By 1871, a steady stream of German Catholic immigrants had settled in Lancaster and, in 1885 a new, larger church was under construction to accommodate the larger congregation.

  • Angels in the Architecture

Angels prevail throughout the church.  They flank each side of the high altar sculpted of white Italian marble imported in 1909.  Angels also watch over the congregation from each of the stained glass windows.  Angels, according to religious tradition, are significant because they are guardians and messengers between God and humans.  They are spiritual beings with intellect and free will.

  • Stained Glass Windows in St. Joseph Church

Rev. Francis X. Schmidt, originally intended for 15 windows in the church (five on each side and a third set in the sanctuary) to represent the 15 mysteries of the rosary: Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious.  The rosary is a form of mental and vocal prayers centered on the mysteries commemorating events in the lives of Jesus and Mary.  The five Joyful Mysteries were installed in the church sanctuary.  However, Father Schmidt’s death interrupted plans for the other windows.  Then, when side windows were installed, they depicted saints in a variety of scenes from the Bible.  Families and individuals, who underwrote the purchase of each window, are noted at the bottom of the stained-glass panels.   Below the stained glass windows and along the walls of the church, Stations of the cross are depicted in fine Belgium relief sculptures.  Their design is similar to the Last Supper carved from a single piece of marble in the base of the altarpiece and brought to the church in 1909.

  • Church Ceilings/Wall Paintings

The church ceilings and walls are replete with religiously themed paintings.  In the three domes of the nave, the 12 apostles, or followers of Christ, are depicted.  In the semi-arched dome over the tabernacle, a series of five angels are represented in silent vigil.  In the archway that frames the altar opening, the Fathers of the Universal Church are represented in paintings.  The Universal Church is that which is spread throughout the world. The men depicted lived in the second, third and fourth centuries.  On the left-hand, or Eastern side, of St. Joseph Church are the Great Fathers of the East.  One the right-hand, or Western side, are the great Fathers of the West save for St. Benedict. Benedict is not one of the fathers of the church but it is believed he may have been placed here because of the special devotions of one of the pastors.  In the right rear of the church, near the center doors, St. Francis Xavier is painted.  Church records indicate he probably represents the memory of the Jesuit missionaries who first brought Catholicism to Lancaster in the 1740s and helped establish St. Mary’s Church.  On the rear left, St. Francis of Assisi is painted, probably in honor of the Sisters of St. Francis who served the parish as teachers for more than 130 years.

- This church represents both divine intervention and appreciation for architecture, history, music and religious art to inspire-

(More on Church History) Founded in 1849, the first structure of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was built circa 1850 to 1854. Some elements of this building survive within the walls of the present church, built between 1882 and 1886. This late Victorian Church was enlarged and remodeled in 1923. Visually and historically, the tower and walls of this church, of modified Romanesque Revival style, dominate an area of several blocks.

B. Statement of Research Project

This research project will examine the architectural styling differences of both the exterior structure/facade and interior structure/facade of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church before and after the structure was rebuilt to create an expanded church building.  It will further include an analysis and critique on its application of the Romanesque and Romanesque Revival style emulated within its architectural design in order to contrast the definition of typical Romanesque revival to that of this church.  Specifically examined will be exteriorly, the tower, structural masonry materials and composition; interiorly the ceilings, stained glass windows, columns, apse and again building materials.  There will also be a focus on the interior’s overall rhythm due to its ornamentalism and how that perhaps influences the structure of the mass, itself.  Questions will then be asked such as do these areas have a specific purpose and if so, is that purpose utilized?  Moreover, the feeling of the inside to the outside of the church will be analyzed according to aesthetics and its feeling on spectators since the two facades starkly contrast one another.

Research/Analysis and Evaluations will be weighed against some of the following information thus far…

The primary architectural style of St. Joseph Catholic Church is that of Neo-Romanesque using a combination of Roman and Byzantine styles popular in Europe in the late 1800s.  This church, specifically, is reminiscent of an ancient European Cathedral.  The building’s structure is pressed brick and behind the large carved-wood doors is a nave surrounded by graceful arches supported by tall pillars.  The pillars measure 41 feet high, and there are six on each side in alternating square and round columns.  Each is topped with gold acanthus-leaf capitals (Corinthian in architectural style).

The interior of this structure greatly contrasts that of its exterior.  While the exterior is modeled after Neo-Romanesque, its style is very austere and less ornamental than what its interior presents.  Inside of St. Joseph you are encapsulated into an atmosphere of marvelous detail and creative precision which sends the spectator into a feeling of wonder. One may not gather that they will be receiving such a feeling from simply observing the outside of the church.  The Neo-Romanesque/Roman Revival features of this church include the round arches, semi-circular arches on the windows and belt courses- yet here are more simplified than their historic counterparts of the Romanesque tradition.  Whereas, represented in Romanesque style are massive and thick in quality walls, sturdy piers, large towers, and decorative arcading, St. Joseph truly embodies the characteristics of the revival.  The church sets itself apart because there is not much sculptural ornament applied to the West front or the portal- nor does stylized foliage appear nor figurative sculpture anywhere on the structure.  St. Joseph’s embodies the Lombard band, a row of small arches that appear to support a roofline.  It contains flattened buttresses rising to wide arches at the upper levels after the manner of some Italian Romanesque facades.  The only visible sculpture on the exterior, however, is that involving the arches’ shapes; the sculpture of the moldings is either curved or linear.  The building plan is very regular and symmetrical so that the overall appearance is one of simplicity. Moreover, the tower is rectangular and square with columns functioning as external buttresses rising without climbing through the various stages of the church’s exterior masonry.  Yet, the interior of the church seems to embody more fully the style of Romanesque Revival.  One finds columns present with Corinthian capitals- an inspiration for Romanesque capitals.  There is also an alternation of piers and columns, a significant feature of Romanesque architecture.  The murals on the interior façade including predominantly the ceiling, but also some of the walls demonstrate a characteristic of said revival.  The large walls surfaces and plain curving vaults, in this case the pointed arch vault, lend themselves to the mural décor of religious symbolism.  In the semi-dome of the church’s apse is common for an image of Christ.  Large stained glass windows also adorn St. Joseph’s; something one would find in Romanesque cathedrals as well.  Here, the pointed arch vault is used to regulate the height of the diagonal and transverse ribs; the use of arches of the same diameter for both horizontal and transverse ribs causes the transverse ribs to meet at a point.  This ceiling is particularly different from typical Romanesque churches because it is not wooden.

After viewing the microfilms and examining older images the influx of hopeful information will provide a basis for St. Joseph’s analysis.

C. The methodologies that I plan to use to answer my research questions include the examination of the microfilm history of the church.  The examination of old images and records will hopefully aid me in this process.  Further, I plan to look into the St. Joseph’s own architectural archives/church history and arrange to talk to the parish’s priest or office manager about the significance of particular parts of both the church’s interior and exterior- as to what to pay particular attention to over other elements.  I also want to consult local newspapers to investigate if any information was written about the architectural change from the structure’s original building to its second expansion.  Even more recently, I would look to examine information written within newspapers about the newly restored tower and significance of the unique organ inside the church.  Historical records could bring to life information about the specifics of St. Joseph.  I plan on utilizing the archives at F&M to research and the maps available at the Lancaster Historical Society and F&M to analyze how the landscape and surroundings of the church have changed.  Furthermore, a look into the architectural history- including the architect and original architectural plans, if obtainable, would greatly add to this research process.  Those will hopefully be available through the architectural company/architect, if still in existence, or perhaps a copy through the church’s own records.  This would allow me to structurally analysis the blueprints and compare the changes more specifically.

D. Photographs of the Research Project’s Problem/Issue under Investigation:


45. Otterbein United Methodist Church: Research Question

A. State of Scholarship:

After starting the first stages of research on the Otterbein United Methodist Church, I found there to be only three direct resources regarding information on this Church. The first being Rineer, which contains a timeline of dates explaining when the church was founded, when the Sunday School was built (which happens to be before the first church was built), and when the present church was built. The other information on the church came from Gibble and Klein, which mainly contained more detailed information on the church giving names of founders and pastors of the Church.

B. Research question: After visiting the church and sitting in on the Sunday morning service, I was really able to put into perspective what we have been learning about the Methodist Church. Before sitting in on the service, I had wanted to research how the architectural style of the church correlates with the form and function of the service. However, my interests have changed after my experience during the service. I had walked around after the mass and found that the church had many stained glass windows and after talking to the pastor I realized that the windows were one of the most important characteristics of the church. The picture that is of just a stained glass window represents more then just another stained glass window. That window is know to the congregation as the communal stained glass window, because each member in the congregation has generously donated to the church in order for that window to be there. I am still working on a formal research question, however right now it would be “what is the importance of the stained glass windows to the church itself and how has the styles of the windows changed from past to present.”

C. Research Methods: The methods that I will use to tackle my research question will be to start with a sort of top-down approach. I am gonna start with the present church and try to date when the windows were installed and for what aesthetic purpose. I will then go back in time to see which were the first stained glass windows in the church with the help of the archival resources that the church has, and try to see if any specific designs of the windows were kept during the renovations of the church. Also I would like to understand the stories behind the windows and how they incorporate into the Methodist religion.