Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Goth Kids Used To Go To The Chapel

Trinity Parish Chapel in Southport, Connecticut. 1872. It's Gothic Revival, but it's a certain sort of that genre.

I always read old books so it's always "Gothick" to me. Please stop me if I refer to China as "Cathay." But besides being Gothick, it's Carpenter Gothic. Carpenter Gothic is a loose term for a type of rude gothic decorative embellishment that was made possible by the powered fret saw --the scroll saw. It aligned itself with an urge for authenticity in church affairs, driven by a British and Northern European sensibility about things "popish." There's nothing Mediterranean here.

It's a lot harder to put embellishment like this on and in a building than you might think. It's crude, almost brutish, but there's a light and airy quality to it too. A castle or a cake; you decide.

People gathered together in fellowship, in simple but not unsophisticated surroundings, with the feeling of a serious purpose.

They didn't just come to stare in awe at the stained glass rosette window, did they?

You've got to bring your own awe to such a place. It's what's missing in even the awesome places now. "Form follows function," the most abused and misunderstood architectural adage there is.

This sort of place testifies. I'm not sure its occupants do any more.


Thud said...

gothic revival architecture is full of delightful twists and turns..I'm working on a gothic building at the moment and its rewarding me daily in so many ways.

SippicanCottage said...

Thud is my brother from another mother.

I built my mom a carpenter gothic house in the next town. I loves the gingerbread.