20 Apr 4th Grade Church Architecture Tour
This week in 4th grade the class travelled to downtown Portland for instruction in Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Mr. John Southgate was our gracious and amiable tour guide. Our first stop was St. Mark’s Anglican Church in NW Portland. The beauty of its rounded arches, stained glass, and minimal light gave the students a view of Romanesque construction. Mr. Southgate taught about the origin of the Anglican Church. We then drove to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Trinity was built using Gothic architecture. The pointed arches and tall windows are key features. From there we walked to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Sister Connie, a nun with a quirky sense of humor, gave the students a delightful tour of the cathedral. We identified the Corinthian arches at the entrance and rounded arches inside. This church is exceptionally light and filled with new stained glass as well as floor to ceiling murals. The highlight was climbing the stairs to see the huge pipe organ. Once again we loaded up the cars and toured Trinity Presbyterian Church. The sanctuary was built to resemble a ship. It is unique in its Gothic architecture because its interior is completely carved in highly polished wood. A major difference between the first three churches and Trinity is that the Presbyterian Church contained no art (images of God), and the stained glass contained no images, just blocks of color. All of these churches offer tours to the public, and I highly recommend that everyone take advantage. The children were in awe of each one.