Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GIANT DEAD SPIDER

I guess you could call this the ultimate bad vestment.  But it seems that the former cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan(AKA Far And Away The Ugliest Church Building In The Entire History Of Christianity From The Ascension Of Christ Into Heaven Until The Present Day) has been memorialized in a book.

26 comments:

John (Ad Orientem) said...

It looks like a maximum security prison.

Annie said...

Every so often I have to drive by it and cannot IMAGINE what they were thinking.

The Rev. M. Forbes said...

Leggos and toilet paper tubes.

Nickie Goomba said...

Scrooge McDuck's money vault.

John said...

From my perspective it is a maximum security prison.

Laurentius Rhenanius said...

Crematory!

marion banks-wilkinson said...

Well I read the article so I see what they meant, but boy did they mess it up. Looks like a 3 year olds junk project, cereal box loo roll tubes et voila I builder a castle at nursery!

Anonymous said...

What is it with western Michigan and really bad church architecture? Muskegon has that neo-fascist St. Francis de Sales parish. Yikes!

Howard said...

I'm afraid I've seen worse.

Just off the top of my head, in Bay County, FL, I know of two Protestant churches that are in competition. One I call the "Worship Depot"; it looks like someone took a Home Depot and converted it into a church without changing the architecture at all. The other I call "the Hotbox". It's covered in tin and has no windows and only the main door out front. No windows! I have no idea what goes on inside, but that just sounds creepy in a church.

Fr. Caleb said...

Pictures of the inside, before it's 2007 sale, indicate thoughtful and quite beautiful architectural expression of the liturgical renewal's emphasis on the people of God gathered by Word and Sacrament.

The unfortunate fortress-like aspect of the exterior seems to be the unintended consequence of trying to turn a building into a symbol, in this case a crown. One tower for the bells might have been a better choice.

Pity the diocese lost it.

Ray Anselmo said...

The more pictures of the exterior I see, the more it seems to say "unfinished government storage facility." You could imagine the last scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark taking place inside ...

And yeah, the new attachment screams "Circuit City." Episcopalians don't have the market on ugly architecture cornered.

Pat said...

The first thing that came to my mind was "Hydro substation". But what is that small structure in the left foreground? Is it an incinerator? A small heating plant for the church?

Andy said...

If they had a Cathederal in Mordor, I supose it'd look like this.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the architecture is very foreboding. It seems to conflict with what the modern, liturgical-movement inspired interior tries to accomplish: welcomeness; the priesthood of all believers; everyone together in unity and family.

No doubt this diocese, like most in TEC, is theologically heterodox. But I wonder if it went into better hands going to some non-denominational church that has "services" that look like a U2 concert?

JGA

Anonymous said...

While nowhere near This ugly, there's a church 3 miles from our house that totally lacks in anything architecturally spiritual. We thought it was a sort of prison at first. J. wondered where they were putting the watch tower so they could shoot people who tried to leave early....heh heh.

SB Smith
Texas

Anonymous said...

There is a special place in hell for bad architects ... and it looks quite a bit like this.

Caedmon said...

Combination Episcopal Church and nuclear power plant.

Ex aedibus said...

You know who built this hideous cathedral, don't you? I was the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Sr. Bennison, Sr. is the father of the current Bishop of Pennsylvania. Under Bennison, Jr., Philadelphia's Episcopal Cathedral was gutted. It's really terrible what happened to it.

amy said...

I agree that it looks unfinished. Could the spaces between each bell tower be filled with a brick wall and a nice vaulted ceiling be put in? (One with nice murrals like the Sistene Chapel?)

Anonymous said...

Surrender Dorothy!

The Bovina Bloviator said...

But what is that small structure in the left foreground? Is it an incinerator?

Pat, you're correct, sort of; it's a crematory.

Fire and Light Studio said...

I was a little girl when this was built, and my daddy was a priest in Western Michigan. He did not like the building, but told me it was supposed to be a crown to symbolize Christ the King. It truly is ugly, but there is an Roman Catholic church in Hamilton, Ontario that I think is even worse.

Anonymous said...

Not just ugly, but fugly.

Hard to believe somebody would actually buy this building on purpose. They must have been desperate for a worship space and not particularly caring what it looked like.

It does have a maximum-security prison feel to it. Where's the concertina wire?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the things I used to build out of Legos when I was five. Of course, mommy was obliged to humor me and congratulate me on such a beautiful "whatever..." Of course, as an adult now, my mom has the decency to tell me what sbe REALLY thinks!

Alex Ignatiev said...

It's the God Factory!

Josephine Robertson said...

I actually worshiped there as a college student. I know it looks horrible outside. And weird inside in pictures. But it was actually a really neat space.

The light through the colored bricks moved as the sun moved, and it was beautiful. An ugly duckly that I grew to love. Very sad it got sold, but I understand it was horribly expensive to maintain.