Arts and Crafts Architecture
Picture Tour

Congregational Church (page 1 of 3)

Corner view of a Neo-Gothic, Shingle Style church. Photo by Howard J. Partridge.

General View from the Northeast
First Congregational Church in Alameda, California

Daniel F. Oliver was the architect of this picturesque Neo-Gothic church, built in 1904.  At least two usually sound architectural guidebooks describe the building as a Romanesque Revival, although how they arrive at that conclusion with its profusion of pointed arches hardly seems credible.  While pointed arches and vaults are occasionally found in late Romanesque architecture, it is the rounded arch and barrel vault that are best associated with the style.  Pointed arches and vaulting are more typically associated with the Gothic architectural period that followed.

A stronger case might be made for the building's Shingle Style attributes.  It is covered mostly in shingles, wrapping continuously around corners and bulging out at the big bay window on the left.  The roof, which was probably wood shingles originally, also displays characteristic Shingle Style rolls and splays about its edges when viewed in detail.  Even the Gothic detailing is not entirely at odds with the style, as certain Arts and Crafts works of other architects like Bernard Maybeck and Ernest Coxhead attest.  Photograph taken in 2002 by Howard J. Partridge.

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