Saturday, May 5, 2012

ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

Last week I was on the west side of Milwaukee and took the opportunity to photograph the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.  The church was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956 but was completed in 1962, three years after his death.  Even though I have lived in Milwaukee for over 35 years, I do not believe I had ever seen the church before, although I had seen abundant photos of it over the years.

Although the church is located in a predominantly residential area, it is set off by extensive open grounds that showcase the architecture of the building.  Here are some shots showing the full dimensions of the church.




In a sense, this is typical Frank Lloyd Wright: unorthodox overall design, abstract decorative patterns on a macro as well as a micro scale, and involving engineering requirements that are expensive both in creation and in maintenance.  Here are some shots of the detail.





My understanding is that Frank Lloyd Wright did not design the stained glass windows.  Following is detail above the main entrance.  I think it is likely that he also did not design the angels either.


The roof of the structure is close to sky blue, and it might have been better to have shot the church on a cloudy day.


There is an unusual Greek cross structure on the main drive leading to the church.  I feel confident that this was designed by the architect, as it is very consistent with the overall style of the building.  The maintenance issues with this structure (see lower left scallop) are, I think, illustrative of Frank Lloyd Wright's work generally.


I did not attempt to get inside the church, but I understand that photography is not normally allowed inside anyway.

Overall, I thought the church represented a novelty that has not worn particularly well over the 50 years since its construction.  Perhaps it should be referred to as a Greek unorthodox church.

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