For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.
Exporting Churches (021.06.09)
The early churches of New England are based almost entirely on the design of St. Martin in the Fields. Completed in 1724 its revolutionary design of having its steeple at the east end of the church, not the west end was the brainchild of architect James Gibbs who decided to turn convention on its head and build the steeple where we see it today. He also built it above an imposing portico that looks like the grand entrance to a Greek temple. Critics marvelled at the audaciousness of the new church and despite the innate conservatism of churchgoers and the church authorities, the new design soon became very popular, so much so that several members of Gibbs’ architectural practice were enticed to American by the offer of large sums of money. With the design of St. Martin’s packed in their bags they moved west as the American settlers moved west, building identical or near-identical copies of St. Martins as they went.