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United Lutheran Church

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1931, Joseph Bell DeRemer and Samuel Teel DeRemer. 324 Chestnut St.

This tour de force of brick masonry was the product of father and son architects and is perhaps the purest embodiment of exuberant Art Deco influence in North Dakota. The church has a powerful vertical emphasis accentuated by the buttressed tower that concludes with a ziggurat-like dome and by the nave’s tall narrow windows with polylobed tops that give the chuch a flavor of Islamic architecture. The church sanctuary connects to an education wing, with the tower at the intersection. Zigzag brickwork on the tower is repeated in ornamentation throughout the building, both exterior and interior.

Much of the Art Deco influence on the DeRemer firm’s work derives from Samuel Teel DeRemer’s experience, although his father would also have been acquainted with early renditions of that emergent style based on his brief practice in Los Angeles. It is not possible to absolutely differentiate projects and the stylistic inclinations of the elder and younger DeRemer, for their practice was truly collaborative and either architect was capable of designing in several styles. United Lutheran, like much of the later Art Deco work of the DeRemer firm, is generally attributed to the son, Samuel, who took over his father’s practice in 1937. A substantial repository of DeRemer drawings and architectural work is maintained in the Orin G. Libby Special Collections of the University of North Dakota Library.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay
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Citation

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "United Lutheran Church", [Grand Forks, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/ND-01-GF16.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 78-78.

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