Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Curiosity from St. John the Unfinished

A pencil rendering by Roger Hayward of one of Ralph Adams Cram's proposals for crowning the vast, still-incomplete crossing of the Episcopalian cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Here it is seen from the (also still unbuilt) north transept. The best-known proposal, an immense, square crossing-tower, was adopted after this point; it appears, though, a final design consisting of a simpler, if similarly gigantic Gothic spire, was also considered late in the process. Cram only completed the expansive nave of the church before work was abandoned, but a number of alternate and somewhat outlandish schemes for finishing the design have been advanced since then. Hayward also rendered, among other things, Cram's unexecuted proposal for a Presbyterian Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

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