Corb and Sullivan

What does Le Corbusier’s Firminy Church in France have to do Louis Sullivan’s K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago?

Besides that you see they both sport a great arch.

Well, Corbu died without finishing Firminy. But the local government recognized its cultural importance and committed funds so it will stand.

In Chicago, we didn’t protect Sullivan’s church and

didn’t it burrrrnnnnn, children, talk about burn oh my Lord….

Now they want to rebuild on the site, but maybe not exactly to Sullivan’s design! That’s bone-headed. It is Louis Sullivan’s church that needs to stand on that corner on the south side of Chicago.

Rebuild it the way it was and consecrate it to culture.

The French paid to complete the unfinished Corbu church, then “consecrated it” to culture.

Read “When is a chapel not a church?

Money grafs:

“In 2003, although without enthusiasm, the local government restarted construction, but not as a chapel. It is against the law in France for the state to fund a religious building, so it is now a cultural centre with a cross on the roof.

This is a building that defines us as a world community. It is as important as the Sydney Opera House, or Bilbao’s Guggenheim, the pyramids, St Peter’s in Rome, Angkor Wat and Beijing’s Forbidden City.

Or Sullivan’s K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist Church. So lease the land in perpetuity from the congregation, give them the church building they want, and which will better serve their needs, and turn K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist into a cultural center to serve the memories of Sullivan, Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, gospel music and the community around it.


By the way, I also like this graf from the same link, about Corbu’s Firminy:

Le Corbusier was a master at using big, tough, harsh materials softly. His genius is in the way he could provide in a single building an explanation of the human condition that contains so many histories. At Firminy, there is the original cave, the sophisticated geometries of renaissance and Gothic churches, the sculptural forms of Asia and Africa, and the simplicity of abstract modernism. Strangely, one of the world’s most beautiful chapels may never be consecrated.

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