Celebrating Annunciation's 50th
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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church announced that it will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Church with a free evening program featuring the architect’s representative who supervised construction of the building. Get the details after the jump... As stated in the press release: The free program, which will take place on Thursday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m., will feature Taliesin apprentice John U. Ottenheimer, who was construction supervisor of the...
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church announced that it will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Church with a free evening program featuring the architect’s representative who supervised construction of the building. Get the details after the jump...
As stated in the press release:
The free program, which will take place on Thursday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m., will feature Taliesin apprentice John U. Ottenheimer, who was construction supervisor of the original Church building during 1959 – 1961. Ottenheimer will talk about his experience in being a leading member of the construction team and reflect on his working relationship with Wright, the Annunciation community and others involved in the building of what has become an internationally recognized house of worship that attracts visitors from all over the globe.
Ottenheimer now lives in Freeland, WA and is making a special trip to Milwaukee to speak about the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church’s unique design and talk about what it was like to be involved in building what has become a worldwide landmark. Ottenheimer spent two and one-half years on the Annunciation project and was involved in the design of many of the design details of furnishings and landscaping and was the principal construction supervisor. He is currently writing a book about the project because, he has said, it was “such an adventure and involved so many innovations.”
Ottenheimer also worked on the restoration and updating of the Bogk House in Milwaukee, including masonry repairs, kitchen remodeling, lighting, furnishings and a garden landscape plan.
His career also has included architectural designs for wind turbines and towers, the design of solar apartments for senior citizens and serving as the “librarian of the drawings” during the last four years of Wright’s life. More information on his life and career can be found on his website, www.organicarchitecturenw.com.
Additionally, Washington County Circuit Court Judge James G. Pouros, a member of the Annunciation parish and an expert on the building’s history, also will make a brief presentation.
“First and foremost, our Church is a house of worship, and we are pleased to share this special opportunity with the entire Milwaukee-area community,” said Reverend Father James Dokos of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. “Mr. Ottenheimer will offer some interesting and somewhat surprising stories about how our wonderful Church came to be built, and Judge Pouros has a special perspective based on his life-long involvement in our Church community.”
Father Dokos noted that the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is Wright’s only public building in Milwaukee and that it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974 and a Milwaukee Landmark in 1976. Its unique architecture based on Byzantine principles and the design of an Orthodox cross has attracted visitors from Europe, Asia, South America and throughout North America and is often featured in different magazines, books and websites. It seats more than 1,000 people and has had some minor adaptations since first opening in 1961.
Father Dokos said that the free event is open to the public and that it will be followed by a reception in the James W. Pihos Cultural Center, which is located on the Church grounds along with the Greek Orthodox Manor, a housing facility for elderly residents.
“We are excited to share our Church’s unique history with the public during this special celebration,” Father Dokos said. “For the past 50 years, the Milwaukee community has supported our Church and our missions, and we invite all to join us for this special commemoration of our Frank Lloyd Wright Church and our Orthodox faith.”
The event is organized by Father Dokos and John W. Galanis, a Milwaukee attorney and life-long parishioner who has served the Annunciation parish in a variety of roles.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church was designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956, and groundbreaking took place in 1959. The Church was completed in 1961, and in 1971, it was consecrated in an elaborate six-hour ceremony. This year, it celebrates its 50th anniversary, and it has become famous for its large blue dome and unique architecture. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church supports numerous ministries throughout the year. More information can be found at www.annunciationwi.com.
Thanks to Mark Hertzberg for passing the information along.
Image via www.annunciationwi.com