All Saints Episcopal Church
History and Architecture
The early 1960’s were a time of church growth for
It is surprising that a new church would have both the finances and the vision to build such a completely original creative space. A young architect by the name of Marcel Beaudin was commissioned and given free reign. It would be another two decades before his design for a boathouse on the
Beaudin’s intent was to create a feeling of “surreal other worldliness”. In his own words, “We think of a church as being deeply rooted with thick walls reaching deeply into the earth. A very safe place. But I was looking for something different by surrounding the entire space in glass. The space would be more like a canopy, held up by slender supports giving a sense of disconnection from the earth, and moving toward paradise.”
Inside the church one feels that Beaudin was able to capture much of what he set out to do. Light filtering through the glass panels in shades of azure and periwinkle cast a shimmering glow within the space that gives it an ethereal quality. Some have said that being inside evokes a feeling of floating on water. For others, it is reminiscent of a Native American longhouse. It is a certainly a space that lends itself to quiet contemplation and communication with God. Longtime parishioner Ellie Bushweller says, “I’m drawn to the simplicity, the warmth and earthiness of the wood, the high ceiling which draws my thoughts up, and the blue glass windows, which are soft and comforting.” Others find it “warm and spiritual”, as well as “calming”.
Maybe it’s the magic of the building, with it’s the unique and compelling shape, but All Saints has managed to retain the warmth of a small country church while at the same time serving a growing and diverse community.