Category: religious architecture

Architectural walking tours of Washington,D.C.

Bill Lebovich, former National Park Service historian, architectural historian and photographer, and former adjunct college faculty member, gives weekday and weekend tours of Lafayette Square, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, historic downtown and museums, and custom tours.

To schedule a tour, get additional information, reviews, DSCN2867.jpgor ask questions, email me at or call (301) 467-2831.

The Washington DC Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Designed by architect Keith W. Wilcox (1921-2011)Morman.jpg,who was active in the church, it was dedicated in 1974.  Prior to dedication, fellow National Register of  Historic Places historian W. Ray Luce got tickets for his interested colleagues, as non-believers can not enter the Temple after it is sanctified.  The tour was illuminating.

The Temple sits in Kensington,MD, near the beltway around Washington,DC and is highly visible to people driving that highway.

Heins & LaFarge, prominent late 19th/early 20th century civic architects

Both men had studied at MIT and then worked for Henry Hobson Richardson.  Two of their most significant designs were St. John the Divine, in Morningside Heights, NYC (bottom image) and The Cathedral of St. Matthew’s in Washington, DC.  The latter church  was where the funeral for President Kennedy was held.

(c)Bill Lebovich, all rights reserved, 2013.ImageImage

Two more masterpieces by Eero Saarinen

The MIT Chapel, “made possible by the generosity of the Kresge Foundation”, was dedicated in 1955.  It sits close to busy and noisy Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge so the textured brick wall forms an attractive, visual and spiritual barrier between the circular chapel and the major street running from Boston through Cambridge to the more distinct suburbs.

The hanging metal screen behind the altar was designed by Harry Bertoia, a long time collaborator and friend of Saarinen.

(c)Bill Lebovich, all rights reserved,2013.

Behind the Chapel is Kresge Auditorium, dedicated the same year and funded by Kresge.ImageImageImageImage

A Magnificent Catholic Cathedral

DSC_0089 DSC_0074 DSC_0077 DSC_0081 DSC_0091Pietro Belluschi (1899-1994) was trained as an engineer, but rose to be chief designer and owner of a prominent architectural firm.  He was also Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning and the recipient of the AIA Gold Medal.

His numerous religious buildings such as the Cathedral of St. Mary of Assumption, San Francisco, 1971 and his other  buildings from the East Coast to the West Coast not only reflect the modernist tastes of the 1960s and 1970s, but seamlessly integrate advanced engineering principles and a sophisticated architectural aesthetic.