Hope Needed For Hopewell Baptist Church
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Nelson Brackin, of the Friends of Kebyar, sends a link to a story about the unfortunate trouble that The Hopewell Heritage Foundation is having in trying to raise more than $2 million to restore the abandoned Bruce Goff-designed Hopewell Baptist Church (1951) in Edmond, Oklahoma. In an effort to imagine this building in better times, we asked architect Robert A. Bowlby for some images and insights. See more after the jump... Robert A. Bowlby writes:...
Nelson Brackin, of the Friends of Kebyar, sends a link to a story about the unfortunate trouble that The Hopewell Heritage Foundation is having in trying to raise more than $2 million to restore the abandoned Bruce Goff-designed Hopewell Baptist Church (1951) in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Robert A. Bowlby writes:
Here are images that were taken in 1959 (all but the third image, which was earlier). When I saw it again in 1984 I could not believe how much it had deteriorated.
I don't know how much you know about the building, but on the third image, the sides of the cone are covered in white styrofoam panels with a welded steel framework holding it in place (The congregation had a lot of welders that worked in the nearby oil fields).
Sometime later, someone came in and spayed asbestos over all of it. The hanging light fixtures were made of 3/4" metal conduit with aluminum pie tins and silver-bowl incandescent light bulbs plus there were additional hanging chains of translucent ice tea coasters. The glass cover over the cone could be hydraulically raised to allow air to ventilate which in conjunction with wood horizontal flaps around the perimeter of the bottom of the cone (a couple of feet above the sanctuary floor line) allowed natural ventilation in heated times.
Just inside of the exterior entrance doors there were a set of old concrete stairs from a previous building that had burned down (Bruce Goff just left them and incorporated them into the design concept).
Thanks Bob--an amzingly unique building to say the least. Hopefully, the resources can be found to restore it back to its former glory. Read the article here to learn and see more.
First image via Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman/All other photos copyright Robert A. Bowlby