Built St. Louis > > MidCentury Modernism

St. Marks United Methodist Church
315 Graham Road, Florissant - North County
Architect: Robert L. Fisher & Associates, 1964

The A-frame roof was a common style for Mid-Century churches, allowing great architectural drama without breaking the budget, and calling to mind a Biblical tent, physically and symbolically. There are many examples in St. Louis, but St. Marks United Methodist is the king of them all. An extraordinarily steep roof gives St. Marks a dramatic profile, accented by an ornate steeple.

The equally dramatic sanctuary soars up into the darkness. The east-facing front of the sanctuary is flecked by small windows with purple and blue stained glass panels.

When I visited in 2009, the original pulpit and baptismal font - clearly designed specifically for the building - remained in place, but were slated for almost immediate removal as part of a renovation. It was the second such story I'd heard that day, and a familiar one with aging Mid-Century churches - struck with a hunger for "flexibility", congregations remove original fixtures and furnishings, degrading the artistic and architectural integrity of their sanctuary.

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