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Stained Glass in Saint Luke's, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

  • St. Luke's Episcopal Church
    The glass in this lovely white church on Van Ness deserved its own photoAlbum. The majority of windows are the reknown English firm of Heaton, Butler & Bayne, London, UK. They boast beautiful clerestory windows of angels with outstretched wings and exquisitely detailed painting. The aisle windows boast enamelwork, silverstain, acid etching, and delicate painting sometimes on both sides of the glass, adding a real depth to the glass when viewed up close. There are also some adequate windows by the firm of Wipple Co. of london, but they are not nearly as excellent. Much of the aisle windows are located at eye-level, and are real treats to be studied. The painterly compositions are quite complex with real sensitivity to balance and color range. website: http://www.stlukessf.org/main.htm

The Swedenborgian Church, San Francisco, CA

  • Bible, on the alter
    The Church opened its doors for worship March 17, 1895, and was designed by a distinguished group of architects including the celebrated Bernard Maybeck. Its founding pastor, Rev. Joseph Worcester, was longtime friend of John Muir. Rev. Worcester purchased the land on which the Church and its grounds are located. A Statement of Significance reads: "The Swedenborgian Church ecclesiastical complex is an ensemble of buildings that is exceptionally valuable to our understanding of the development of a style of architecture we now call the First Bay Tradition, the harbinger of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the western United States. Natural materials, domestic scale and appearance, traditional and earthy structural forms, and site-specific designs define the First Bay Tradition. The visionary Swedenborgian minister Joseph Worcester brought together leading architects of the First Bay Tradition, A. Page Brown, A.C. Schweinfurth, and Bernard Maybeck, as well as the contemporary painter William Keith, stained-glass artist Bruce Porter, artist Mary Curtis Richardson and other designers and craftsmen to create an integrated complex of buildings. ... Like the closely-allied Arts and Crafts Movement, the First Bay Tradition developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and stressed a comprehensive design approach: from architecture to interior furnishings, from fixtures to artwork. The church is one of the earliest, most influential and best surviving examples of this important national and regional building tradition." The following is an excerpt of the National Landmarking Committee's commentary supporting its decision to grant Landmark status: The Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco is "…a critically important example of the American contribution to the Arts and Crafts Movement as exemplified in new architectural imagery, integration with the site, garden design, and use of natural materials. The interior shows the employment of the decorative arts to create a special atmosphere, and also the first examples of the 'mission chairs.' ... The Church is important as an example of the Swedenborgian contribution to American religious, social theory and intellectual life."

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February 26, 2008