Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Symbolic Details at Frank Lloyd Wright's Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

It can be challenging to add symbolic detailing to a modern church building without resorting to a standard set of traditional details that seem more suited to a cathedral.  A new set of beautiful photos by Mark Hertzberg of Frank Lloyd Wright's Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, highlight some of the ways that FLW referenced faith that moved beyond stained glass or iconography, though the building also includes plenty of those.

The church has three prominent stairwells that reach from the top to the bottom of its dome, spiralling around  light poles. According to Hertzberg, "One of the most important design features in the sanctuary are the three light poles in the stairwells. The three light poles represent the Holy Trinity. The white lights represent the stars, the blue lights the Virgin Mary."

And a church member relates the symbolism of the unusual pew ends:  “The sculptured ends of the pews are intended to represent the Christian symbol of the fish pointed downward (the ball being the tail).”

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