Traditional Architecture, Design and Documentation

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Road trip...

I attended the SMPS Greater Cincinnati Higher Education Panel Program today - hosted by Messer Construction Cincinnati.  It was a beautiful morning for the early drive.  (Partly because I got to listen to 2-whole-hours of news radio rather than the usual Wiggles DVD playing for my 22 month old.)  

The featured panel were facilities representatives from six surrounding area universities and colleges discussing the state of higher ed development.  Xavier University (one of the representatives on the panel) was located just a few miles away so I took the opportunity to make a quick campus visit.

It was refreshing to see such large scale construction going on during what feels like a never ending drought of development.  Here is a new residence complex for the campus with 525 student suite-style rooms and 800 seat dinning center. Opening is scheduled for August 2011.

The departing site from the athletics fields.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Raising of the Cross

Our family usually attends mass every Sunday at St. John the Baptist Italian Catholic Church in Columbus Italian Village - near downtown.  But today was special as St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westerville, Ohio, scheduled to raise the cross for their new church. 

Surrounded by what seemed over 100 parishioners, construction company Corna Kokosing slowly lifted the 20 foot cross by crane, resting it ever so gently atop what will be a new 1200 seat church in the Columbus suburb.

We all watched in silence as the church choir sang hymns.  It was truly a site to see.  It took maybe 5 minutes for the cross to reach it's final destination.  I asked David if all churches place their cross this way, he said this was a first for him.  It's the biggest he's designed.

Even more special for me - this is my sister's parish.  She and her family were there and took this picture of us.  Thanks Monica!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Meleca's ecclesiastical work elevated

Dr. Denis McNamara is the author of numerous articles and books on art and architecture and how it relates to the church.  His most recent book, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, has been praised by many as the sourcebook for studying, designing and building Catholic churches.  He has been called "one of this generation's finest architectural historians."

Meleca Architecture was privileged to work with McNamara on the design of St. Michael the Archangel, Leawood, Kansas.  McNamara features several of Meleca's designs of St. Michael's in his latest book. 

New Classicism in church design. St. Michael the Archangel Church, Leawood, Kansas. Designed by David Meleca

An excerpt from the book, "If Classical architecture is merely a product of its age (which, theoretically, was long ago) how, then, could the New Classicists come from the Age of the Machine and Modernism and yet still embrace the Classical tradition?" 

"Classicism represents not so much a set of architectural forms as it does a philosophy of the nature of things as expressed in art and architecture.  Those who think most deeply about Classicism recognize it as a system of building that goes far beyond nostalgia and copyism.  For some, intuitive knowledge and common sense argue for an architecture of continuity that is humane in scale and rich in poetic allusion.  All architecture does this to some degree."

In the conclusion of his book, McNamara includes a Q&A section which discusses the most frequent questions asked by students, building committee members, pastors and parishioners.  Question 9. Who are some of the leading traditional church architects practicing today?  McNamara lists 8 architects from across the country, David Meleca, one of them.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Road to the Top


A 20 ft. cross designed by architect David B. Meleca for St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church is enroute from Salt Lake City, Utah to Westerville, Ohio.  The latin style symbol will adorn the top of the new 1200 seat Catholic church.  It will take several days for cross-towing-truck to deliver the gold leafed symbol.  Crafted by Munns Manufacturing of Salt Lake, St. Paul's new church, for the largest congregation in the Columbus Diocese, is on target to be dedicated in 2011.