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St. Mary’s Catholic Church

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1934–1936, Charles Eames of Eames and Walsh, 123 Columbia St.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church is the larger of the two churches Eames designed in Arkansas; the other is St. Mary (GE3) in Paragould. This church, a modern version of Gothic Revival, has a T-shaped plan with brick-veneered exterior walls. The church’s plain gable front has a pointed-arched entrance, four sets of paired windows, stepped buttresses at the corners, and a niche in the gable with a statue of Mary. A tall slender steeple marks the crossing of the nave, and it is clad in diamond-shaped metal shingles and adorned with Gothic-inspired arches and ornamentation. Inside, the single nave is covered by a wooden beamed ceiling. The Emil Frei Stained Glass Company created the windows, and Charles Quest painted the mural on the sanctuary wall; Eames suggested that the figures in the mural be stylized, not realistic, and designed in a manner that would relate well to the simple, austere design of the building. Subsequently, Eames’s studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan drew him into a broader field of design than just architecture.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors
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Citation

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "St. Mary’s Catholic Church", [Helena-West Helena, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-PH8.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 250-251.

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