Architect: Henry J. Hefty, 1895
Swiss-born architect Henry Hefty designed this Italian Gothic
structure to look like Boston's Old South Church. This is the sort of architecture that John Ruskin used to swoon over in northern Italy. Anyway, when this church was built, it had three towers; the two at the southeast and northwest corners were removed in the 1940s, while "modernizing" the building.
Along with various historic church steeples, the remaining tower at this location once dominated the Portland skyline until steel-framed skyscrapers sprouted past it. Oh, and the tower you're looking at? Not original. The original tower was heavily damaged in the Columbus Day Storm of October 12, 1962, and had to be largely replaced. The new 175-foot tower is well worth looking at; it has a mini-cathedral of its own on top. Much of the exacting detail at the top is obtained through the precise use of sheet metal.
* The repetition of small shapes, for example diamonds, is called "diaperwork." Thus, when the tower gathers enough soot, it has dirty diaperwork.
A financial panic in 1893 caused many church members to cancel their pledges to the church's construction, which, as a result, took six years to complete. When it was first built, this church was nicknamed "the Holy Checkerboard" for its distinctive pattern of dark basaltic rock with lighter limestone. The building's interior holds over a thousand people in a unique, downwardly sloped seating arrangement that features the unique combination of stucco and polished redwood.
* The west-side pillars of the church were replaced in 1996; you can see that the original stone gives way to new material.Less Text