12,586 research outputs found

    LIGHT IN COMMUNITY: a study in the adaptive reuse of sacred space

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    ABSTRACT MOTIVATION American life is increasingly fragmented, leading to a sense of restlessness and disconnection. Much of that fragmentation can be traced to our pattern of architectural and sociological development, namely, the rise of the automobile suburbs in the 1950s and 60s and the abandonment of densely populated, human- scaled environments like that of the small town or city center (Oldenberg, 1999). PROBLEM Large numbers of architecturally significant buildings have fallen into disrepair over the years following the ‚Äúwhite flight‚ÄĚ of the 1960s and 70s, during which significant segments of investment dollars left city centers and followed to the suburbs (Kunstler, 1994). Specifically, older church buildings have fallen victim to a dilemma of sociological change. Many of the congregations that inhabit historic church buildings do not have the vitality, vision, and sometimes funds to maintain their buildings. While there are many newer congregations that do have the vision and vitality to maintain an older building, they often do not have the funds to do so. As a result, an increasing number of community treasures, buildings built at a dense urban and human scale, are being lost to neglect and misuse. METHODS In order to gain a clearer and more specific understanding of the issues involved in revitalizing and maintaining historic sacred spaces for the benefit of their communities, a course of study was undertaken which included readings of books and articles on urban revitalization such as ‚ÄúThe Past and Future City‚ÄĚ by Stephanie Meeks, those on third place like Ray Oldenberg‚Äôs classic, ‚ÄúThe Great Good Place‚ÄĚ, and some on the integration of the arts in community centers and shared space. Case studies of successful adaptive reuse projects of church and synagogue buildings, such as Maison de la LitteŐĀrature in Quebec City and those undertaken by Partners for Sacred Places in Philadelphia, were investigated. Interviews were conducted with leaders from both older and newer urban congregations, and with directors of local community centers and for-profit businesses. RESULTS According to studies completed by The National Trust, historic buildings help a city to maintain its urban vitality, and maintaining stock of old buildings must be an important component of any serious conversation about sustainability in the built environment (Meeks, 2016). At the same time, many historic and architecturally significant buildings which were constructed at a time when church attendance was a larger part of the American cultural experience are falling into disrepair because the congregations that inhabit them are often unable to generate the energy, vitality, and funding that is necessary to maintain them. REFLECTIONS/CONCLUSIONS This project will explore the development of a community center for education and the performing arts in an historic church building. The program will include a small cafe, rentable studio space, a library/ reading room, a performance venue, and event space. Research will support development of a third place model, successful adaptive reuse of sacred space, and will explore options for cost-effective renovation of an historic space

    When Change Is the Best Option: Method for the Evaluation of the Impact of Change of Use in Houses of Worship

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    Houses of worship constitute valuable landmarks in the built environment; they represent the power of faith and mankind, in the form of durable buildings designed to stand the test of time. Nevertheless, houses of worship are becoming redundant as a result of endogenous factors, such as maintenance or lack of funding, and exogenous factors, often related to suburbanization and demographic changes. As a consequence, many houses of worship are suffering a process of decay, which calls for adaptive reuse as a necessary response. While the adaptive reuse of houses of worship is becoming a common practice, current practices do not prioritize the comprehensive preservation of the character-defining features. Specifically, traditional preservation approaches do not take into consideration the relevance of the sensory perception of the space as a determinant in the preservation of the character and significance of the place. This thesis seeks to provide a useful tool for preservation and design professionals in the decision-making process of adaptive reuse of houses of worship. In order to do so, this thesis: (1) identifies the character-defining elements of houses of worship and their source, (2) analyzes current practices in adaptive reuse of houses of worship, and (3) proposes an evaluation method that, when applied in early stages of the reuse process, assesses the impact that the change of use may cause in the character of houses of worship from a physical and experiential points of view

    Teutonic State Order’s Cultural Heritage in Towns of Warmia-Masuria Province in Poland

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    The area of contemporary Warmia-Masuria Province encompasses the major part of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights, founded in the Middle Ages on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. This area is unique because of the preserved cultural heritage. By conquering and inhabiting the Prussian tribes areas monks left behind their legacy. In the article, the author presents cultural heritage of 49 cities of Warmia-Masuria Province from the period of a monastic state. The article is divided into two parts. The first part describes the size and condition of preserved cultural heritage. The second is an overview of selected processes, conditions and problems associated with the use and protection of the Teutonic heritage of Warmia-Masuria Province

    Through Changing Scenes: Architecture and Community Values in Little Rock's Historic Churches

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    This paper investigates why and how six historic urban churches in Little Rock, Arkansas adapted architecturally to changing community needs. In approaching this research, the researcher examined a wide variety of information: what events motivated building alterations, how the community and congregation viewed the church structure, and how churches utilized their buildings to house community services. The churches selected for this study are located within the original nineteenth century city boundary. The social and cultural landscape of the city have changed dramatically over the last century with the urbanization and reform of the Progressive Era, the social unrest and rise of fundamentalism during the War Years, racial tension and urban renewal efforts of the 1950s through the 1970s, and downtown revitalization and preservation concerns of the present era. The researcher compiled Primary source documents to discern each congregation's growth pattern within each era, then analyzed the churches in each time periods in Little Rock's history for a variety of architectural and social themes. The trends that emerged resulted in typologies of church growth. Churches followed similar trends architecturally with regards to style, building materials, and furnishings, as well as patterns in building use. This investigation seeks to look at the churches holistically, not simply as significant architectural structures, but also as community hubs, housing critical spaces that shaped Little Rock's urban community

    Is an Exemption from Historic Preservation Designation for Religious Institutions Needed in the District of Columbia?

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    In December 2007, the District of Columbia\u27s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), in a unanimous decision, landmarked the Third Church of Christ Scientist, built by the firm of famous architect I.M. Pei in 1970, because of the building’s architectural significance. The decision was controversial and drew community and media attention because the landmark was a modern structure and the designation was made over the opposition of the congregants and some community members. As a result of the landmark designation, the congregation’s ability to redevelop the church will be limited and will require HPRB approval. The church argued that the building is too expensive to maintain while some community members argued that the building is architectural blight. Still, HPRB found that the church is an important and significant example of Brutalism, an architectural style associated with the 1950s to 1970s known for the use of roughly cast concrete. Because of interest surrounding the Third Church of Christ Scientist landmark decision, city officials are now poised to engage in a conversation about the wisdom of passing an ordinance that specifically allows religious institutions to opt out of historic preservation designations. In fact, a bill that would allow religious exemptions for historic properties was recently proposed by a city council member then quickly withdrawn. Because the bill was withdrawn, this paper will not focus exclusively on this bill. However, the possibility remains that a similar bill may be introduced and the previously proposed bill will be used for a point of reference for how a potential city ordinance in the District of Columbia could look

    Reconnecting Schools and Neighborhoods: A proposal for School Centered Community Revitalization in Baltimore Maryland

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    This project explores the concept of school-centered community as a key aspect in assisting urban renewal through architecture. It employs this concept through the architectural design of a middle school in Baltimore, Maryland that has a focus on music. The existing context of an urban site in the Oldtown area is analyzed to generate a solution to the area’s educational problems as well as to provide an urban renewal plan. In order to develop a project that has great potential to succeed, the projects site was specifically chosen based on its context

    Preserving Sacred Places: Free Exercise and Historic Preservation in the Context of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Washington, DC

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    This paper will analyze the tension between the historic preservation of sacred places and the free exercise of religion as seen through the recent controversy surrounding the landmarking of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, in Washington, D.C. Assuming Third Church would bring a free exercise and RLUIPA challenge if the District denied a demolition permit, this paper will examine how such a suit would likely fail. After describing the factual background, the paper will evaluate questions of standing and ripeness. The mere fact of landmarking does not create a cause of action recognized by District of Columbia courts, so any potential suit would have to be brought after administrative remedies are exhausted. The paper will then analyze the potential challenge under pre-RLUIPA free exercise jurisprudence and conclude that despite cases to the contrary in Kansas and Washington State, the denial of a demolition permit is not a violation of free exercise under the Supreme Court\u27s analysis in Employment Division v. Smith. The paper will then address the inherent contradictions within RLUIPA when religious entities try to invoke strict scrutiny to challenge historic preservation laws. While claiming to codify existing free exercise jurisprudence and not confer immunity from land use regulations to religious entities, RLUIPA contradictorily seems to expand free exercise protections by triggering strict scrutiny review upon a showing of an individualized assessment by a government body in land use decisions

    The use of Kashubian regional architecture in the creation of a cultural heritage tourism offer in the rural areas of selected communes of the Pomeranian Voivodeship

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    In Kashubia, as a cultural region, tourism manifests itself in various forms. One of them is rural cultural tourism,utilizing, inter alia, the material assets, unique character and wealth of secular and sacred architecture. The aim ofthis article is to determine the use of Kashubian regional architecture in the creation of a cultural heritage tourism offer in selected communes of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Research conducted by the author has shown that Pomeranian historic objects of sacred and secular architecture can be used to develop the heritage tourism offer, consistent with the idea of sustainable tourism. Some of the facilities are part of existing tourism products, e.g. cultural routes, museums, and theme parks, such as the Kashubian Ethnographic Park in Wdzydze Kiszewskie. However, the tourist potential of numerous  monuments is not fully used mainly due to insufficient tourism development, as well as lack of reliable information and promotion, and this affects sightseeing.In Kashubia, as a cultural region, tourism manifests itself in various forms. One of them is rural cultural tourism,utilizing, inter alia, the material assets, unique character and wealth of secular and sacred architecture. The aim ofthis article is to determine the use of Kashubian regional architecture in the creation of a cultural heritage tourism offer in selected communes of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Research conducted by the author has shown that Pomeranian historic objects of sacred and secular architecture can be used to develop the heritage tourism offer, consistent with the idea of sustainable tourism. Some of the facilities are part of existing tourism products, e.g. cultural routes, museums, and theme parks, such as the Kashubian Ethnographic Park in Wdzydze Kiszewskie. However, the tourist potential of numerous  monuments is not fully used mainly due to insufficient tourism development, as well as lack of reliable information and promotion, and this affects sightseeing

    Improving Environmental Sustainability in Reuse of Some of England’s Churches: Challenges and Options for Sustainable Practices

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    Considering the spontaneous growth in retrofitting practices, existing buildings, particularly those of historical significance are being transformed using a wide range of interventions. However, the pervasiveness of these interventions constitutes a serious challenge to retrofitting heritage buildings. The aim of this paper is to investigate current retrofitting strategies and interventions in heritage buildings. The purpose is to assess current performance through the viewpoint of energy efficiency. The paper adopted pragmatic analytic and comparative approach and methodology to investigating retrofitting interventions in the reuse of England listed churches. A top down approach method of data collection was employed to collect energy use data from monthly utility bills and meter printer outs from selected buildings. Findings show that in terms of energy performance, the majority of the surveyed buildings are currently under-performing. Recommendations for low energy use interventions for operational management of retrofitting projects were proposed. It concluded that the low operational energy use should be a key priority for effectiveness in any proposed retrofitting intervention on heritage building projects
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