Title: FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Location Current Site: Boulder CO UNITED STATES
Creator Personal Name: Nixon-Jones
Creator Assoc Person Name: Keeler,Dawn, Mattivi,Mark
Creator Assoc Person Role: Instructor, Photographer
Date.Creation: ca. 1960-1960
Subject.Image Description: Stairs up to south facade
Creator.Personal Name Label: Nixon-Jones
Style/Period Description: POST-MODERNIST
This style emerged in the late 1960s in reaction to the prevailing Second International Style of the post World War II era in the United States. International Style architects and subsequent Late Modernists had developed a language of architecture that was simple, rectilinear, and unadorned except for structural elaboration. It consciously made no reference whatever to traditional or historical architectural forms. Post-Modernists, on the other hand, rediscovered the past and introduced in their designs references to both the history of architecture and to the particular localities in which they worked. Like the cultural critics and philosophers from whom the term "post-modern" was borrowed, these designers were particularly concerned with opposing the positivist assumptions of modernism (technology will continuously bring about human progress), and they were concerned about language and meaning. Post-Modernist buildings were often intended to be metaphorical or symbolic. Their designers frequently employed historically derived forms, such as classical columns or arcades. However, unlike the revivalists architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the post-modernists employed odd disjunctions and juxtapositions, irony, and whimsy.
An important source of Post-Modernist thinking in architecture was Robert Venturi's 1967 book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, which argued for eclecticism, pluralism, and learning from Vernacular architecture of our own time. Some Post-Modern buildings, such as Michael Graves's Schulman House (1976-78) in Princeton, New Jersey, were relatively cerebral, while other buildings, such as Philip Johnson's AT&T Building (1978-82) in New York, were more accessible and popular in appeal. Both employed forms derived from Renaissance classicism, such as pediments, although in unconventional ways.
Subject Image View Type: Exterior, general view
Description.Subject Report: First Christian Church
While the First Christian Church may look like a modern building, the congregation carries a long and enduring history of well over 100 years. Though the congregation has held together, the council and building have changed numerous times.
As a religious building for the community, the church provides a place for worship, learning, and outreach. The church prides itself on accepting all people. There is a separate two-story education wing. As a measure of outreach, the church provides a daycare center called FLOC (For the Love of the Children). Located directly east of the church are independent living units for senior citizens called Golden West Manor. These are disconnected from the church and do not resemble the church building. However, Golden West compliments the geometries and materials of the church by using opposite geometries and similar colored materials. The First Community Church has been recognized for their active outreach in the community. Much of their focus is on social issues outside of the church and they have provided support across the globe to those in need.
While the church was organized in 1875, the first structure was not built until 1881. In the beginning, the group would meet in various homes and buildings. It was founded by an evangelist missionary named J.H. McCullough. Located in downtown Boulder, Colorado, on 15th. Street and Walnut, the original church was a small frame structure which was replaced by a brick structure in 1895. The church was replaced again in 1920 by a Revival Style structure known as the big white church. Because of inadequate space and parking issues downtown, the church moved locations in 1960. Today, the First Christian Church is located at 950 28th Street, just across the street and east of the University of Colorado campus. This post modern structure took on a very different architectural style from its predecessors. The angular roof is reminiscent of the Flatiron Mountains to the west. The west stained glass is perhaps the most characterizing attribute of the building. Pieces of tilted stained glass with graphic patterns of vertical lines filter light into the center of worship. There is a brick chimney which ascends vertically and an entry tunnel pushed underground with windows at ground level. Stairs lead up to the main entrance on the east side. The building cost a total of $321,500.00 and has gone through a series of repairs over the years.
The First Christian Church was designed by the architectural firm of Nixon-Jones. It was designed with room for expansion. The downstairs education center and tunnel was added at a later date, creating two stories with the lower story pushed underground.
The building stands out in Boulder due to its unique characteristics. No other buildings around town resemble the First Christian Church. It looks like a ships mast heading towards the mountains. (Dawn Keeler, 2007)
ID Number.Former Image Accession VISC: 185884
Rights Description: Copyright owned by The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, and the photographer. All rights reserved.
Source.Requestor Full Name: Lickteig, Lynn
Media Type: 185884.tif
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