Tuesday, August 5, 2008

St. Wendelin, Fostoria

St. Wendelin is one of those rare buildings that are impossible to judge from photographs, primarily because its layout is such that it's just not possible to find an angle to shoot from to get the full effect. A fisheye lens might work for the interior, but I don't have one. In photographs, the exterior looks just plain odd and the interior looks a bit insipid. When you're actually there, I can only describe it as one of the best modern churches I've ever seen. It's magnificent, inside and out.

That combination of stone and brick is very effective.

Now that I've heard horror stories about the condition of the old church, I'm no longer ambivalent about the use of the tower caps as domes. The bell from the old church is installed under the one at the right, and immediately over the "gathering room". ( Fancy term for a very big narthex. ) My hat's off to the architect for that one. He's a genius.

The sanctuary's a bit Spartan for my taste, but the furnishings are beautifully made, and I love the color of that wood.

Oh, before I forget. The infamous dome actually looks very good when you're standing under it.
The parish has done a good job of avoiding the middle class "suite" syndrome. They had the good sense to realize artwork from the old church would fit in perfectly, instead of thinking everything had to match. I wish more parishes would learn that lesson. Makes me sick to see churches built by cognosnotti wannabes, where everything's specially made to an overall design. Too often, they end up reminding me of a two-bit business owner's idea of "classy", c1965. Shows class influence, alright, but not the sort they think.

St. Wendelin, on the other hand, is more like the better sort of country house, where old and new blend perfectly. As far as I'm concerned, every new building committee in the diocese should visit this parish, to see how to do the job right.


7 comments:

Irene said...

Tripod, Jeffrey, tripod.

Anonymous said...

Jeffery wrote:

"I can only describe it as one of the best modern churches I've ever seen. It's magnificent, inside and out."

Your endorsement means alot to me Jeffery. Do you know who was architect and who was the priest who oversaw the process?

ShariYS said...

Your comments will be passed on to -- those who need the suggestion. ;)

Jeffrey Smith said...

The architects are Meacham and Apel.

Jeffrey Smith said...

The circumstances of the tour weren't exactly conducive to using the tripod. I plan to find a way to get back to Tiffin to give both churches the full treatment. Next week, though, the cathedral. It's only two blocks away.

Irene said...

Photos from the cathedral will absolve from not using the tripod this time.

Irene said...

Jeffrey -- I suspected that had something to do with your move.