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Ansgar Evangelisk Lutherske Church

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c. 1942. FM 441, just east of TX 71

Dedicated to St. Ansgar, missionary to the Nordic people, the Danish Evangelical congregation's church is a World War II army chapel acquired from Camp Hulen, an anti-aircraft artillery training center adjacent to Palacios that was converted into a German prisoner of war camp, then decommissioned in 1946. This building replaced the congregation's original, more elaborate wooden church of 1909 that was destroyed during a hurricane in 1945. The white-painted wooden church with its stubby central tower manages to be a very late version of the Southern vernacular church type as well as an economical example of 1940s streamlining. Its impact derives from the strong figural presence it exerts in the big sky, flat plane landscape of the coastal plain.

To one side of the church is the gambrel-roofed, clapboard-faced community hall of 1929; its side-gabled south wing is the original community hall of 1895, which served as the congregation's place of worship until the 1909 church was completed. The congregation worshipped in Danish until 1954. Danevang remains the center of Danish ethnic culture in Texas.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.
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Citation

Gerald Moorhead et al., "Ansgar Evangelisk Lutherske Church", [Bay City, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/TX-01-WD38.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 460-460.

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