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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Artistic whimsy in the sky: Blue on white on blue

This has to be one of the most interesting, light-hearted, and beautiful church bell towers I've ever seen. It belongs to St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church at 1465 Grand Avenue in Astoria, Oregon. The original Catholic church was built nearby in 1874, but no one seems to know the exact location of the building. As the congregation grew, this church was built about a block away in 1903, and is still in use. Star of the Sea also runs a school, which is well known here in town.

The most interesting thing to me is the amazing architecture. I went online to see if there were other similar bell-tower designs, but I didn't find anything approaching this style of detail. Does the detail derive from Astoria's Scandinavian heritage, or was it the whim of one local artist/architect/designer? The steeple roofline seems to be vaguely Finnish, but as much as I love architecture, I can't say I know enough to classify this. There is the sedate Romanesque blind arcade in white, and then the creative spirit of the Victorian-era designer takes off! I think the colors are just perfect.

If anyone has ideas about the style, please make a comment!


Jacob said...

I know from nothing about style, but I agree that it is interesting, light-hearted and beautiful!

Your photo shows it off well, too...against that blue, blue sky!

The design is, can't help but feel good looking at it.

Nice shot, Sheryl!

Greensboro Daily Photo said...

Stunning bell tower. That reminds me, Sunday is our day to post something religious, Sacred Sunday if you will and I don't have it selected yet.

I am still laughing about your mention that the "art van" could be camouflage in the right setting!!!!!


Don and Krise said...

I can't help you either, but just from the portion in your photo it looks very well maintained. Love the gingerbread.

Hilda said...

Not a style ever used here in the Philippines so I don't know either, but I agree with your — the details are so dainty and lovely!

Marie Reed said...

I had to enlarge this so that I could gawk at the color and detail! No that you mention it it certainly does have a very Scandinavian feel to it!

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