Tour of Modern Sacred Spaces in Wedgwood

On September 10, 2016, there will be a tour of two modern architectural churches in the Wedgwood neighborhood:  Our Lady of the Lake and University Unitarian.

The organization which documents and highlights modern architecture, DoCoMoMo-WEWA, will host a tour of two churches in Wedgwood on Saturday, September 10th.  Tour cost is $10 inclusive of both sites, and is payable at the first site, 1 PM at Our Lady of the Lake at 8900 35th Ave NE.  After a one-hour tour there, the tour group will go to University Unitarian on 35th Ave NE at the corner of NE 68th Street (diagonally across the intersection from the Northeast Branch Library.)

The present Our Lady of the Lake church is the second building to be built on the same site.

The present Our Lady of the Lake church is the second building to be built on the same site.

Modern Sacred Spaces is Docomomo WEWA’s event series showcasing religious structures built by different faith communities in the mid-20th century. The buildings represent innovative efforts by postwar architects and engineers to create spiritual places of light and form using new materials and construction techniques.  The tour guide is Dr. Tyler S. Sprague, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the UW.

Meet at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 8900 35th Ave NE.  Completed in 1961 and designed by the firm of Gotteland and Koczarski, Our Lady of the Lake‘s origins were in 1929 but as of 1940 the congregation moved to its present site.  Its former site at about NE 81st Street became part of developer Albert Balch’s original Wedgwood plat.

Docomomo WEWA Board member Dr.Tyler Sprague will discuss the church’s unique architectural and structural engineering features. Members of the congregation will be present to speak about the experience of celebrating inside their sacred space.

The University Unitarian Church building is an example of award-winning modernist architecture.

The University Unitarian Church building is an example of award-winning modernist architecture.

Next up is a visit to University Unitarian Church at 6556 35th Ave NE, just over one mile south of Our Lady of the Lake. Completed in 1959, UUC represents one of Paul Hayden Kirk’s early large-scale works for which he and his associates, Donald Wallace and David McKinley, won the AIA (Seattle) award. The church will be open for us from 2:15 – 3:45 pm. A program will take place at 2:30 pm followed by a casual tour. A member of the congregation will tell us about the church’s proposed master plan.

Parking is available on-street or in the surface lots of both churches. Please do not leave your vehicle at Our Lady of the Lake’s parking lot if you plan to visit UUC after because Our Lady of the Lake will be in use again again after the tour group departs.

About Wedgwood in Seattle History

Valarie is a volunteer history writer for northeast neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington.
This entry was posted in Architecture, churches and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tour of Modern Sacred Spaces in Wedgwood

  1. Susie says:

    This sounds great! There are so many interesting modern churches in Seattle.

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