Corpus Christi Church

Richard J. Shaw, 1955

Harleston Parker Medal, 1956

This mannered amalgam of traditional and modern elements is more historicist than Shaw’s earlier Harleston Parker Medal-winning St. Clement’s church from 1945, suggesting that client desires or the smaller scale of this neighborhood may have tempered the architect’s instincts.

The deep-set arches within simple stone walls are characteristic of other churches of the mid 1950’s, although they are designed with a surer hand than most. The intersecting pitched roofs have a timeless power, but the towers, placed at the rear of the building, feel like architectural confections with inventive twists layered onto what are otherwise typical gothic revival elements. Ultimately it is the consistency of the stone that holds the composition together, despite the mixed messages given by the massing.

Images: ©Yonward