All Souls Congregational Church - Bangor, ME
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 44° 48.157 W 068° 46.057
19T E 518378 N 4961050
This church, on the exterior, is many things, but mostly it is striking, impressive, imaginative, surprising and creative, if not just a bit odd.
Waymark Code: WMP3N7
Location: Maine, United States
Date Posted: 06/25/2015
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 2

From its massive heavily buttressed façade to its gorgeous entranceway to its elegantly slender spire to its huge rose window, this is a church which deserves more than a casual glance. Not ancient, as one might expect, it was not built until just over a century ago - 1912 to be precise.

Its design sprang from the fertile imagination of the preeminent Ralph Adams Cram (1863-1942) of Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, Architects. Cram was a strong proponent of Gothic design for churches and brought with him considerable experience in the field.

The façade lacks both tower and spire, but they are both to be found elsewhere by the curious and/or adventurous - the spire at the junction of the trancepts at the peak of the nave while the bell tower may be found at the left (south) end of the cross-gabled narthex. Small and inconspicuous compared to the centralised spire, the bell tower, like the rest of the building, is roofed with stone tiles, ensuring longevity. The central spire, tall, slender and spiked, is clad in beautifully patinated copper, making it especially eye-catching.

This is the third church to be built on the site - the first in 1822 which burned in 1830, with the construction of the second following shortly after, in 1831. It lasted until the fire of 1911 which also removed much of Bangor from the scene. Both the First and Third Congregational churches fell victim to that fire, after which they merged to construct this building, whose cornerstone was laid on Tuesday, August 20, 1912.
All Souls Church

All Souls is a Latin cross 126 feet long and 64 feet wide at the transepts. It lacks a clerestory and therefore has a sharply pitched roof, giving it a ship-like profile on its high bank (like a ship church in Norfolk, England), which is emphasized by the high delicate copper-clad crossing tower, now beautifully patinated; the tower's delicacy recalls the French flamboyant. There is no facade tower, but a small bell tower at the end of the cross-gabled narthex makes reference to the Norman Romanesque.

The exterior walls are of rough granite ashlar and the red portion in the lower part, as well as the door jamb, archivolt and trim, were re-used, taken from the burned Third Congregational Church.

Since the Third Congregational Society had worshipped in a replacement church they had built in 1902 (Frank A. Bourne, Boston, architect), which was a handsome but quite conventional Collegiate Gothic design, they had evidently had time to consider whether to build another church of that genre, or to be more ambitious. They apparently preferred to go to one of America's leading architects for a more original solution. All Souls cost $110,000, more than twice the cost of Bourne's Third Congregational Church ten years earlier, and the stained glass windows added to it in later years added considerably to that sum.

Apart from its significance to the whole community, All Souls is an exceptionally creative Gothic building.

Cram's plans for the church have recently disappeared and all efforts to trace them have been fruitless.
From the NRHP Registration Form
Type of material of the door: Wood

Functional door?: Yes

Location of this door/way: On private property

Is it accessable only by paid admission": No

Style: Gothic

Address or physical location:
10 Broadway Street Bangor, ME Bangor

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