Tuesday, May 16, 2006
New Cathedral for Steubenville
The Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio has announced the selection of architects for its new cathedral which will be formed out of five closing parishes. After interviewing several firms including Franck, Lohsen, McCrery of Washington, DC, the diocese chose the local firm of Meacham and Apel. The firm has done a good amount of work in the area, particularly in retail and industrial design as well as several churches. A detail of one of their Episcopal churches is shown here. Though plans of the proposed catehdral have not yet been released, the programmatic requirements have been released.
It is sad to see that another major cathedral commission is going to turn out to be a mediocre project. From what I am told, the architects have a good track record and are known for being very professional. It is evident, though, from the work on their web site, that they don't really understand traditional architecture very well, though their buildings do give a suggestion of the tradition at a quick glance. Their architecture is quite deficient in terms of real traditional work, being a skin-deep pastiche of pasted on moldings which lack traditional structural logic and proper knowledge of profiles. It is difficult to imagine that they will suddenly develop some more design skill before they release the cathedral designs. With so many really talented traditional architects out there, it is a shame to see that the building commission settled for less than they should have.
Another mediocre design firm, another lost opportunity.