Monday, May 14, 2007

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Last week I mentioned I would write up some thing about the Greek Orthodox Church designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Church is a land mark and is located right next door to my grandmother’s retirement home. Wright was one of the world's most prominent and influential architects. He developed a series of highly individual styles over his extraordinarily long architectural career and influenced the entire course of American architecture and building. His most famous work was Fallingwater, also known as the Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. Residence.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was designed by Wright in 1956, and completed in 1961. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Church is one of Wright's last works. In 1956 Wright showed the original drawings for the new suburban church to the Milwaukee congregation, one of the ten oldest in the country. He died in 1959 before the ground breaking and the dedication of the church in 1961. Wright's circular design represented a radical departure from traditional Byzantine church architecture, yet it retained the concept of a domed space and incorporated symbols and colors associated with the Greek Orthodox faith. The basic design of the church is based on the Greek cross inscribed with a circle. This characteristic motif is repeated in several decorative features which include the gold anodized aluminum icon screen, and the gates to the exterior sunken garden.

I hope some day to see the inside of the church, but it is only open to the public during Greek fest.

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