Saturday, December 31, 2005

1963 Thorncrown Chapel receives AIA award

We had a wonderful trip to visit Frank Lloyd Wright and E. Fay Jones buildings last summer, about which I blogged here. The American Institute of Architects has awarded the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which we visited, the 2006 Twenty-Five Year Award for architectural design that has stood the test of time for 25 years.

"The small but soaring glass and cross-braced pine chapel, designed by the late E. Fay Jones, the 1990 AIA Gold Medalist, nestles into an 8 acre woodland setting on a sloping hillside in the Ozark Mountains. It stands 48 ft. with 24 ft. wide by 60 ft long dimensions for a total of 1,440 sq. ft. Its 425 windows, make of 6,000 sq. ft of glass, filter woodland light across its upward diamond-shaped pine trusses to form ever-changing patterns of light and shadow throughout the day and night." AIA Columbus, Dec. 29, 2005.

Approximately 5,000,000 people have visited Thorncrown which is the built dream of Jim Reed, who purchased the land in 1971. When raising money for the chapel, the banks told him that tourists wouldn't come to a glass chapel in his back yard in Arkansas. The Reeds son Doug Reed is currently one of the three pastors at the chapel which is supported by donations. Jim Reed died in 1985 and Jones died in 2004.

Jones's other chapel in the Ozarks, the Mildred B. Cooper Chapel, is also a delight, and one of my blogger links, Hokulea recently visited there for a Christmas service that sounded really special,

"Today the church pianist had a small gathering in her place of employment. She is the manager of the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel check out the website and catch a glimpse of the gem of our lovely village. The place seats about 100 and was fills with people, most involved with the choirs of their churches. We sang for two hours watching the glorious winter sunset throught the barren trees. It was a delight."

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