Saturday, March 26, 2011

The "Piedmont" Pipes are in St. Paul UMC - Phoenix Flies Recap #8

Phoenix Flies Recap #8 St. Paul United Methodist Church (1906) in Grant Park, Atlanta during the Atlanta Preservation Center's Phoenix Flies tour for 2011.

We climbed the stairs to the balcony and bell tower.

Once up there Don is kind-of pointing to the grating behind the cross.

The organ pipes from the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition held in what is now Piedmont Park, are behind the grate. It was recycling back when recycling was really cool. For you non-Atlantans the Piedmont Exposition made a bigger mark on Atlanta than the 1996 Olympics. It was Atlanta's international coming out party at the turn of the century. It was the era of the City Beautiful Movement.

Don cranked up the organ and fellow Phoenix Flier, Dee, sang a few lines. The 115 year old pipes rang, purred, and roared.

May I show you a few more pictures of this beautiful church?

One big window is on the South facade.

It's a big window.

The other big window faces east. The top of this one is in the attic. The steps might be a tough climb for granny but there is a new elevator in the back.

Here is a zen view from the floor of the Narthex. There is a hierarchy of open space and varying ceiling heights (See Design Patterns 114 and 190) . The sheltering narthex and the ceiling under the balcony are a comfortable and cozy feeling compliment to the tall spaces. Your don't feel so exposed.

The floor of the Nathex is sturdy and dignified after 105 years of service.

The metal ceiling in the narrow narthex looks it's age, having withstood a leak or two.

The ceiling is blue, beamed, and beautiful.

In the center there is a medallion, I suppose it could have been an oculus had the budget allowed.


St. Paul has a full length bump out. There is the expected symmetrical, center-aisled sanctuary. But to the north there is extra large main floor and balcony space, comfortable, flexible and unexpected. It's a great opportunity for clerestory windows.

The balcony bumps out to the right.

Looking out from the bump

We went to the roof and the attic. This is the east window from the attic over the narthex. It's stunning to see this from a dark room.

Yes I really did see the attic, still solid after a century.

I hope I haven't worn you out. You need to see the sacristy, as charming a room as I've visited.

The sacristy is in the midst of a big cleaning refit, but the beauty shines through.

Fireplace, stained, glass, paneling, and color made this little room feel perfect.

Every building deserves a room this good.

I keep getting distracted. I was headed to the roof.

The roof decking from the inside.

My 45 second video from the roof.

Thanks to St. Paul United Methodist Church, to Don Wallace for the tour and to Pastor, Susan Allen Grady.

I've barely shown you the stained glass. Even the smallest window deserves a close look.


  1. Just Amazingly beautiful- Thank you for sharing, i have this facination with old churchs. That one is just wonderful..
    THank You- Happy New Follower..

  2. Hello Ms. Karryann, You are so nice to visit my blog. I do also so enjoy those old churches that hang in there. I discovered another one that has just begun conversion into a home. It will be a special place.

  3. Just gorgeous..aging and all..its beautiful, I have always loved old churches, (got it honestly my mom has a major obsession with them and we were dragged from coast to coast looking at them) so I know my fascination was one gotten honestly:-)
    The stone and stained glass are still standing beautifully and I can just imagine how the chuch comes alive once the organ pipes up.


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