Trinity Church Essay Research Paper Henry Hobson

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Trinity Church Essay, Research Paper Henry Hobson Richardson designed his most famous building, Trinity Church in Copley Square, after winning a competition in 1972. James O’Gorman described Trinity as “a cultural even of the first importance in American history.” “The building both represents a departure of the Boston’s mind from its Puritan past, and emergence of American creativity as a force in architecture.” Born in 1838, Richardson was raised just outside New Orleans and surrounded by the colorful stucco buildings of New Orleans. He was from an American family but was greatly influenced by the French culture of his area. After being denied admission to West Point, Richardson graduated Harvard, class of 1859. After Henry Hobson Richardson graduated Harvard

University, he decided to remain in the North to study rather than return to New Orleans. He had the opportunity to study in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, travel to London, travel through rural England, and through Southern France and Spain, making some trips with his friend Henry Adams. Richardson collected postcards throughout his trips that would eventually amount to over 3000 images. Later, he returned to the US and began practicing in New York. Richardson served on the Staten Island Commission, and then moved to Brookline, MA in 1874 after completing several commissions in Boston. Richardson then designed Trinity Church during his remaining twelve years that he spent in Massachusetts. Trinity Church is a prime example of revival architecture. When the “New Republic”

of the United States gained its independence, the “New Democratic Citizens” wanted their place in history reflected in their architecture. The people of the 18th century were proud people, with rights, rights to build homes and communities of their own. And so, the revival style was born, a style built upon the perceptions of their predecessors, the Greeks and Romans. The difference was they had more freedom than their predecessors. This revival style continued into the 19th century when Trinity Church was designed in a Romanesque Revival Style. The primary difference was scale as churches grew dramatically in size. Furthermore, the construction of the Trinity Church brought about the Richardsonian Romanesque Style. This architecture style remained prevalent during the

Victorian period, primarily as a result of the widespread influence of the Trinity Church that displayed bold stonework, complex roof patterns, and arched openings. One defining feature of Romanesque architecture is a round-headed arch. Trinity is articulated with many round-head arches that frame its windows and entrances. The Richardsonian characteristics of Trinity include its rusticated rock faces, with structural features such as arches and lintels, a horizontal element usually at the top of openings in walls made of concrete, stone, or steel that acts as a small beam to span the opening and support the weight of the wall above, made of different types of stones. Rustication is a description of the texture of stone masonry that displays deep horizontal or vertical joints.

Richardson used rustication to create a sense of power and strength in his Trinity Church because the stones were finished to contrast sharply with the surfaces of the other materials. Vaulting was another important element of Romanesque structuring that led to the general use of heavy walls and piers in place of the light walls and columns that had sufficed for wooden roofs. Then there are plain areas of his church that seem almost unfinished but play another role in the Richardsonian style. Deep window revels and wrought iron, a soft iron, ornaments add to Trinity’s massiveness. Other hallmarks of this style include rounded protruding bays topped with cones and square towers topped with pyramidal tops. Richardson uses bold ornamentation to define sections of the building.