Thomas Scott designed this elegant Arts-and-Crafts bandstand for West End Park, and it must have been a fine thing to sit out on the grass and hear a thumpy brass band on a lazy summer evening. It has probably been many years since a brass band played here, but the bandstand itself has been restored and is kept in excellent shape. Here we have similar pictures from two cameras with wildly different ideas of color balance.
A fine example of the modest Arts-and-Crafts interpretation of Gothic that was fashionable for small churches in the early twentieth century. The building has hardly changed at all since it was put up in 1921, and it is still in use by the congregation that built it. The Community of Christ was formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; it is a fairly liberal church that accepts but does not insist on the Book of Mormon as scripture and otherwise gets along better with mainstream Protestant denominations than it does with the much larger Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which accounts for about 98% of Mormons.
Addendum: The architects were Carlisle & Sharrer, productive architects of small and medium-sized churches and houses for the upper middle classes.1
- Source: The Construction Record, April 22, 1911: “Architects Carlisle & Sharrer, Jenkins Arcade building, have plans in progress for a one-story brick veneered church, to be erected at Beechview, for the Latter Day Saints’ Congregation. Cost $10,000.” ↩︎
Well, this one didn’t quite work.
Old Pa Pitt has mentioned how he enjoys seeing the experiments builders try with small apartment buildings. Here we see a builder who seems to have absorbed some of the ideas of modernism and added some Craftsman-style details: the three-over-one windows, the decorative brickwork, the wood-framed entrance. But the details seem applied at random, and a modernist architect would have been more regular in the geometry. Note the lack of rhythm or alignment in the windows, which throws off the whole façade. The second and third floors have windows in groups of 2, 1, 3, 2; the first floor has groups of 2, 1, 2, 1, and they do not line up at all with the windows above them. The entrance does not line up vertically or horizontally with anything else in the building; its awkward corner placement seems to leave some of the trim hanging off the edge.
Someone will probably come along and tell Father Pitt that this building is by a famous modernist architect, and old Pa Pitt will only say that the architect was having a bad day.
This pretty little church stands on the Stanton Heights corner of the intersection where Stanton Heights, Garfield, and East Liberty meet on city planning maps. We might identify it as Romanesque by its round arches, but the general form, square with a corner tower, seems more Arts and Crafts.