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Co-Cathedral Of The Sacred Heart Church At 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy.


Montrose1100

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Anyone know if the bell tower is still a go...

Resurrecting the thread... yes, the bell tower is still in the plans but won't be built for several years until money is raised for it. They just shortened the nave and lowered the ceiling to cut costs.

I wasn't sure about the church buiding when they first announced it, but I pass by it everyday on the rail and it seems more and more impressive the more I see it. I did notice that they will not be installing any windows near the ground... I think this is more to deter vandals than to provide clerestory lighting.

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I just drove by and its looking Big, real big! I don't like the dome on it. You can tell they designed it using CAD because its too perfect. Looks good in line drawings but from the street perspective its to shallow. Reminds me of Moe's hair cut from the 3 stooges.

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I just drove by and its looking Big, real big! I don't like the dome on it. You can tell they designed it using CAD because its too perfect. Looks good in line drawings but from the street perspective its to shallow. Reminds me of Moe's hair cut from the 3 stooges.

I agree; absolute CAD. But on the other side of the coin CAD can give you a full dome if you want it. Compare it to the dome on the new courthouse. They are interchangable. I mean, if you are going to build a courthouse or cathedral dome, build it in it's fullest historic sense-not some shallow half dome that says they either hired a mediocre architect, didn't have the budget to do it right or both.

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I did notice that they will not be installing any windows near the ground... I think this is more to deter vandals than to provide clerestory lighting.

That is not accurate. There are several strip windows going all the way to the ground, separating all the curved chapels from the main walls. Clerestory lighting was in fact a design element. Some lower windows were removed beacause there were concerns they would be too distrcting from the interior.

I don't like the dome on it. You can tell they designed it using CAD because its too perfect. Looks good in line drawings but from the street perspective its to shallow. Reminds me of Moe's hair cut from the 3 stooges.

If you visit the architect's office you will see several models that were used for the design, some of them for the dome only. It is my understanding that it was the Bishop's desire to have a shallow dome, because of a particular church that he likes in Italy that has that type of dome.

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to me it looks very cold and institutional - very 2000's

-_-

I agree, it looks very 2000's. Is that a bad thing for a church being built in .... 2006? I still can't understand Houston's obsession (and most of the US for that matter) of wanting churches to be built in some sort of neo-whatever style. If anything, this Cathedral is not modern enough! What would the gothic cathedrals be like if they had been built to mimic previous styles?

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The L.A. Cathedral is a great example of modern religious architecture. I know of course a lot of people prefer the old-style and decry the death of classic church design, but that is not new and thankfully has never stopped architects from trying different things:

The term Gothic was first used by art critics, during the Renaissance, who were referring negatively to the style of art and architecture that did not conform to the Classicism of Greece and Rome. The critics came up with the term because they thought the Goths had invented the style. They were incorrect in their thinking that it was the Goths who, in their opinion, were responsible for the destruction of the good and true Classical style. The people of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries recognized the originality of the style and referred to it as "opus modernum" (modern work)."

Why "Gothic?" Because that was the term applied to a style of architecture (dominant from the C12 through the C15) that was itself regarded as crude and primitive in contrast to the beauty, symmetry, and formality of classical (ancient Greek) architecture"

Edited by fernz
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The word "cathedral".

I realize the term has become a generic word for a very large church, but there's a more precise meaning. "Cathedral" comes from the Latin word "cathedra", which was the official chair or throne of a bishop or Archibishop.

In general use, "cathedral" is the official home church of the diocese, where the Bishop or Archbishop sits and presides, and the word refers to its function, not to its appearance. Unless it's the official church home of the diocese, the church really should not be called a cathedral.

In every diocese, there is just one cathedral, most of the time. Galveston-Houston is one of the exceptions, with two co-cathedrals, one in each city, and a new cathedral now under construction for the Houston end of the arch-diocese.

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas has one cathedral, Christ Church in downtown Houston.

Edited by FilioScotia
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How would you define 'basilica'?

The word "basilica" is used to describe the style of architecture that's been used in building churches since ancient times. It refers to form, instead of function. Whereas, the term "cathedral" refers to function instead of form.

Here's what Dictionary dot com says about "basilica." "an early Christian or medieval church of the type built esp. in Italy, characterized by a plan including a nave, two or four side aisles, a semicircular apse, a narthex, and often other features, as a short transept, a number of small semicircular apses terminating the aisles, or an atrium. The interior is characterized by strong horizontality, with little or no attempt at rhythmic accents. All spaces are usually covered with timber roofs or ceilings except for the apse or apses, which are vaulted."

Edited by FilioScotia
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How would you define 'basilica'?

Architecturaly it contained a central nave sometimes flanked by at least one aspe-but usually a pair-and side aisles lined with columns.

In practice it was a public building that contained markets, courts and various other public functions.

Ultimatly the term and architectural concept was appropriated by certain christian sects.

One of the earliest was the basilique de Pomp

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Architecturaly it contained a central nave sometimes flanked by at least one aspe-but usually a pair-and side aisles lined with columns.

In practice it was a public building that contained markets, courts and various other public functions.

Ultimatly the term and architectural concept was appropriated by certain christian sects.

One of the earliest was the basilique de Pomp

Edited by Houston19514
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I'm not getting how their existence in 2nd century BC Pompei dispels the "myth" that basilicas were of a religious origin.

Well, first off, "BC" should dispel it had anything to do with Christianity and second, any architectural historian will tell you basilicas were created as secular spaces devoted to public markets, courts, assemblies, etc. They were not originated to house religious events.

Even earlier basilicas in Rome lend credence to the fact they originated as purely secular places.

Edited by nmainguy
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Well, first off, "BC" should dispel it had anything to do with Christianity and second, any architectural historian will tell you basilicas were created as secular spaces devoted to public markets, courts, assemblies, etc. They were not originated to house religious events.

Well, first off, you didn't say "Christianity", you said "religion" and any historian will tell you religion existed before Christianity.

Second, as I said in my post, I was not and am not questioning your conclusion that basilicas were originally created as secular spaces. I agree. No need to repeat it again. All I said (and in fact said quite explicitly) was that their mere existence in the second century BC does not prove that they were secular structures.

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Well, first off, you didn't say "Christianity", you said "religion" and any historian will tell you religion existed before Christianity.

Second, as I said in my post, I was not and am not questioning your conclusion that basilicas were originally created as secular spaces. I agree. No need to repeat it again. All I said (and in fact said quite explicitly) was that their mere existence in the second century BC does not prove that they were secular structures.

My original intent was to correct filio's incorrect definition-not to debate religion or the appropriation of an architectural style by religion. I think I succeeded in that.

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My original intent was to correct filio's incorrect definition-not to debate religion or the appropriation of an architectural style by religion. I think I succeeded in that.

And my original intent was to correct the inaccurate impression you left. I think I succeeded in that. ;-)

(and by the way, Filio's definition was not incorrect; perhaps incomplete, but not incorrect.)

Edited by Houston19514
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

BEAUMONT (AP) - Pope Benedict the Sixteenth has designated Beaumont's Saint Anthony Cathedral as the fourth basilica in Texas.

Church official says basilica status recognizes the cathedral's artistic and historical significance.

The honorary title makes Saint Anthony one of about 60 basilicas in the United States. It comes in Saint Anthony's centennial year.

Other Texas churches that have been named basilicas are St. Mary Cathedral-Basilica in Galveston, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, and Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle-National Shrine in San Juan.

The Catholic Diocese of Beaumont requested in September 2005 that the Vatican consider granting the designation.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) link

From Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

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(and by the way, Filio's definition was not incorrect; perhaps incomplete, but not incorrect.)

Thanks for the support, but Houston19514 isn't wrong in this. His information is more complete than mine. I was only trying to define the word "basilica" within its commonly understood Christian context, but the word predates Christianity in Roman culture by many centuries.

Before the Christian era, a basilica was a secular structure of the type Houston pointed out. They were built as public markets, courts, assemblies, etc, and not necessarily for religious events. Not unlike the George R. Brown Convention Center, or Reliant Center.

In the 4th century AD however, as Christianity became the official religion of Rome, Christians took over many public buildings and turned them to their own uses. They especially liked the large basilicas because they were perfect for large religious gatherings, so over many centuries, basilicas came to be identified with the Christian church.

Basilicas aren't the only vestige of ancient Rome that's still around today. Think about local governmental divisions across the Roman Republic and later the Empire. The country was divided into provinces, the equivalent of modern states, and provinces were divided into Dioceses, the equivalent of modern counties.

When the western empire collapsed in the fifth century, and the Church of Rome grew to replace the government that had disappeared, the church appointed Bishops to rule the local dioceses, and the term "diocese" survives today as the word for an area governed by a Bishop.

Edited by FilioScotia
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The word "basilica" is used to describe the style of architecture that's been used in building churches since ancient times. It refers to form, instead of function. Whereas, the term "cathedral" refers to function instead of form"

You are only talking about the architectural meaning of the word basilica. In the cannonical sense, the designation of a basilica has nothing to do with the form of the building, but with its artistic and historical significance, as well as the importance it plays in the liturgical and pastoral ministry of the diocese.

Basilica is a title assigned by formal concession or immemorial custom to certain more important churches, in virtue of which they enjoy privileges of an honorific character.

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Could be worse.

Check out the new (2002) cathedral in Los Angeles:

Lacathedral.jpg

America's first cathedral (Baltimore) renovated in 2006:

433ac91c0d499.jpg

Actually the hallmark to this is the inside. The perspective is stunning. True, you will feel like you are in more of an ancient Egyptian temple, but it is impressive none the less. ALSO- if visiting Our Lady, make sure you check out the mausoleum underground. :)

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Although i am glad it replaced a parking lot, and i am well aware of the more Neo-Romanesque look it has to it, i am a bit disapointed by this multi-million dollar cathedral. Look at Cali's Crystal Cathedral. I do believe our architects can come up with something modern and reverent in style while harking back to a more traditional basis. Too much bland stone for my taste. Honestly, even though i feel we need to crank up DT's building arena, i would have rather it taken say five more years in order to crank out something spectacular that would be featured in magazines worldwide. Like some others in the forum, i too favor Gothic and Neo-Gothic cathedrals. Having traveled to England, France, Germany and Vienna, i have seen an extensive number of Gothic architecture. (as many of you probably have too)

I guess i just wish the architect had a bit more imagination. I certainly don't mind stone.......especially when it comes to austere/ reverent invoking structures, i just wish there was a bit more...... busyness to it.

And that dome! In this day and age (check out Berlin) architects can design domes of glass and steel. If they wanted a more modern look without all the Medieval/Renaissance facade frills- why not keep the stark looking stone (with virtually no detail) and put in a glass dome- or a copper dome- or a golden dome?

Finally, before i climb down my ladder from the soap box- without the cross mounted at the top- i do agree- could be an extension of the Justice Building on the North end.

Disapointed.

Maybe the inside will redeem the entire project.

:(

Edited by marc
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Although i am glad it replaced a parking lot, and i am well aware of the more Neo-Romanesque look it has to it, i am a bit disapointed by this multi-million dollar cathedral. Look at Cali's Crystal Cathedral. I do believe our architects can come up with something modern and reverent in style while harking back to a more traditional basis. Too much bland stone for my taste. Honestly, even though i feel we need to crank up DT's building arena, i would have rather it taken say five more years in order to crank out something spectacular that would be featured in magazines worldwide. Like some others in the forum, i too favor Gothic and Neo-Gothic cathedrals. Having traveled to England, France, Germany and Vienna, i have seen an extensive number of Gothic architecture. (as many of you probably have too)

I guess i just wish the architect had a bit more imagination. I certainly don't mind stone.......especially when it comes to austere/ reverent invoking structures, i just wish there was a bit more...... busyness to it.

And that dome! In this day and age (check out Berlin) architects can design domes of glass and steel. If they wanted a more modern look without all the Medieval/Renaissance facade frills- why not keep the stark looking stone (with virtually no detail) and put in a glass dome- or a copper dome- or a golden dome?

Finally, before i climb down my ladder from the soap box- without the cross mounted at the top- i do agree- could be an extension of the Justice Building on the North end.

Disapointed.

Maybe the inside will redeem the entire project.

:(

Agree 110%. It is just so mediocre and cheap-looking. For once I would love to see Houston take the opportunity to create some memorable architecture instead of settling for the second-rate. The concrete slab walls on this could come right out of any strip center. This isn't saying churches should be different for the sake of being different. I'm not a huge fan of the LA cathedral by Moneo - it's been compared to a high school gym - but at least some thought was given to the design. The new one downtown looks like the sole consideration was being as bland and inoffensive as possible.

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Agree 110%. It is just so mediocre and cheap-looking. For once I would love to see Houston take the opportunity to create some memorable architecture instead of settling for the second-rate.

Gee I guess they should seek you out and apologize to you for offending your architectural sensibilities so egregiously, and apologize for not consulting you first. Maybe we should arrange for everybody in town planning to build something to submit their architectural designs to you for your approval.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You don't like the new cathedral design. Fine. That's your opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. Decision makers in the Archdiocese don't agree with you. They like the design and it's the one they're building. Where is it written that every structure must represent "important" or "memorable" architecture? And just who defines "important" and "memorable" anyway?

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Agree 110%. It is just so mediocre and cheap-looking.

That's pretty much what you get when the bishop-who is no expert on design and architecture-tells the architect what kind of dome to put on top. The rest had nowhere to go but downhill.

Once again, Houston settles for the mundane.

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That's pretty much what you get when the bishop-who is no expert on design and architecture-tells the architect what kind of dome to put on top. The rest had nowhere to go but downhill.

Once again, Houston settles for the mundane.

Gosh! Imagine that! The person whose organization owns the structure, and the person most responsible for it, and who will be using it the most, having the unmitigated gall to tell the designer what he wants it to look like. What gall! Whoever heard of such a thing?

What is it with you people? I've seen a lot of elitist snobbery in my time but you guys take the prize. You're living proof of something I've believed about architects for a long time. They don't design buildings for the people who will use them. They design them to impress other architects.

Edited by FilioScotia
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Gosh! Imagine that! The person whose organization owns the structure, and the person most responsible for it, and who will be using it the most, having the unmitigated gall to tell the designer what he wants it to look like. What gall! Whoever heard of such a thing?

What is it with you people? I've seen a lot of elitist snobbery in my time but you guys take the prize. You're living proof of something I've believed about architects for a long time. They don't design buildings for the people who will use them. They design them to impress other architects.

Some of us have higher standards. If it makes you more comfortable to call it "elitist snobbery", go for it.

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Some of us have higher standards. If it makes you more comfortable to call it "elitist snobbery", go for it.

Well, what would you call it? You are, after all, the one who is saying you have higher standards than the Archbishop. That's the same thing as saying his standards are not as worthy as yours, and it's loaded with the implication that you think those who don't share your enlightened views aren't as intelligent as you. I call that elitist snobbery.

Edited by FilioScotia
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Gee I guess they should seek you out and apologize to you for offending your architectural sensibilities so egregiously, and apologize for not consulting you first. Maybe we should arrange for everybody in town planning to build something to submit their architectural designs to you for your approval.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You don't like the new cathedral design. Fine. That's your opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. Decision makers in the Archdiocese don't agree with you. They like the design and it's the one they're building. Where is it written that every structure must represent "important" or "memorable" architecture? And just who defines "important" and "memorable" anyway?

geez- maybe i am unclear on something. Isn't this forum, for the most part, not only about achitectural information, but one's opinions as well? Perhaps, you should re-exmine the purpose of a forum. Just a thought.

I know i am defending subdude, but, i sort of think the point being made is that millions have gone into a project- and one would think, with all the publicity this COULD get- albeit HOUSTON could get, it sort of misses the mark in terms of lasting for posterity. I can probably bet a substantial amount of money on the fact that decades or generations from now- this particular structure will not be showcased as a trendsetting movement.

And yes, this is my opinion. And yes, i am a bit bitter that i was not consulted on the matter. :lol:

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