Inside, the clerestory and the nice, warm tone of the brick make the place light and airy. The beamed cieling is superb. The parquetry effect of the wood paneling on the wall behind the altar avoids the barrenness of a blank wall. The crucifix is excellent. There's one other feature that really stands out. The altar is beautiful. It's made of a dark pinkish stone that really adds the right note of color. Unfortunately, the tabernacle has been moved into what amounts to a stairwell and the two statues have been put together on the left side. Two touches that are not visible in this picture are worth mentioning. There's a wonderful large banner ( No, it's not felt. If it was, I wouldn't be mentioning it ) with a portrait of St. Thomas. It's a heavy sort of material and was made by the artist responsible for the similar banners that are almost the only good feature of that mausoleum of a cathedral Los Angeles has recently been saddled with. I'll have to get a picture of it someday. The other is a set of Stations of the Cross. They're very colorful prints. As works of art, they're nothing to crow about, but they're colorful and they serve their purpose. Overall, if you have to have a late 20th century parish church, this is the way to go.
Monday, February 26, 2007
St. Thomas Aquinas, East Toledo
The period from 1945 to about five years from now has produced a lot of disgustingly ugly churches. This is NOT one of them. The style really isn't in line with my taste, but it's really not bad at all. The brick is a rich, warm color, as is the stone on the front wall. The clerestory, with its windows and decorative buttresses, is really one of the nicest touches I've seen on something of this period. I can't even find anything wrong with the tower, though these square ones are usually awful. This one is just interesting enough to work. I think it's the cross shape of it that does the job. The only problem is that big expanse of blank stone in the front. A good statue would do wonders and make this, quite possibly, the best product of its style in Toledo.