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Hints On Church Building

Hints On Church Building image
Parent Issue
Day
14
Month
February
Year
1873
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

In the churok proper, tour things are worthy of special study. Thej' are Hght, air, heat, sound ; or illumination, ventilation, radiation, reverberation. Day-light, night-light, light for pulpit, Audieuce, and orckestry- somobody is responsibie for a groat deal of blundering and wretched bungling here. Probably the purest architecture can only be had in warm climates, an iuiitation of God's forest temples, and consisting only of columns, liko tapering treo-trunks, and shelter trom sun and rain. Close walls and windows are a climatic necessity. It is in tho températe zones that architecture encounters its most formidable difficulties, iri the necessity of adapting buildings to the extremes of heat and cold, and to rnake them at once suitablu to encounter tho torrid suns and rains, and frigid airs, frosts and tempesta, (j lass aftbrds a wealth and luxury of light to which tho ancient heathen buildings were strangers. Tho great problem ia how to admit light to the best advan tage. Doubtless the best mode conceivable is to throw it down direct from the sky through a ground-glass roof, like that of the Con - gressional Hall, in the Capitol at Washington. Admitted by sido windows, it should be so distributed as best to subserve the purpose for whioh it is admitted. A public speaker wants to see his audience, and they want to seo hini. Both have books, and both want the light to f all to the best advantage on the printi.d pnge. The old-fashioned pulpit-window blurred the visión of the audience. The new-fashioned custom of baring au immense window in the frablo oppoaito the Xulpit, is an unmitigated nuisanoe to the eyes of the occupant of tho desk. This blaïe and glare if tho window must exist, may be shut off by au oigan. The light for the reading desk may bo bt'6t furnished by a sash or ground glass in the roof, directly over tho pulpiti If it come IV jm sido wiudows, oare should be used to placo these so that their light shall fall on tho desk. If 'hese are eovored with venetians, the upper sash of the blinds should bo left constantly open on the one side, and constantly shut on the other, so us to savo tho annoyauce of lights and shadows on the roadhigdesk. Unuer a bfílliant Italian sky, ar.d with abundanco of entranco for light, St Peter's is represen tod as cheorful; while under a sky leaden witli clouds und London smoke and fogs, and with insuffioient windowS) Ht. Paul's is gloomy as Tártaras. Caro should be taken, when stained glass is used, not to make a church glooiny, or ronder it necessary to use gas by daylight. Christ's religión is cheerful, so is his worship. We should not allow arcbitects to tnake it purgatorial. We nood not oppress Protestanisin with the gloom of the saperstitioiig of the Middle Agesi Night-lights are to be considerad. There are thosc among us who reinember the tallow candles and the tin scouces, tho red blaze and lurid smoke, the drippiug groase and thiok wiek, which tho gexton or some omeious brother, always clattered out of his seat to snuft', just at the critical moment when tho proaoher wanted to strike his most tolling blows, or touch tho sympathies of his audience with his most touching appeals. Even in country school-houscsj tallow has giving place to kerosene, pellucid but nauseous, bright but dangerous. Chandeliers still obtrude bliuding Manes between speaker and heaier; and, if it is popsible to place lights at the sido of the desk, or on the wall in the rear of the platform, so that the preaehor's face shallbe obscurtd by tho shadow of his own person, or so that cross lights shall obscure his boök or manuscript, or so that an ofïensivo glare may strike the oyes of auditors iooking at the speaker from below, awkward light furnishers are sure to arrange it so. Gas converts night into day. Gaslight, like daylightj should come from abovo, and corrugated reflectors are now placed at the ceiling, and, in some public buildings, like tho Assembly Hall of the Massachusetts State-house, above the oeiling, behind ground-glass plfttesj threnigh which a mild anti. subduod, yet strong, light is shed upon tho audienco below, the jets themselves being cntirely hidden from tho sight. Gas jeta about a pulpit are usually no improvement, in arrange ment, over country lights. Branch-burners and bracket-jets are placed an standards at the right and left, or over tho head of tho speaker, in such awkward ways as to seem designed to obscure his person and blind his eyes, or the eyes of auditors, rather than to afford couvenient light to each and all. Why can not gasfittors give a little attontion to tho laws of radiation and refloction ? An Argand burner at ono corner of the pulpit, properly hooded, to save the eyes of the speaker and audience, is as indispensable as foot-lights to a stage, and yet is soldom provided unless for couvenience of a regular reader of sermons In several instances, in metropolitan pulpits, and on important occasions, the writor has sufti}i(;l tho mortincation of painf ui failures, for want of light to seo even a few brief hand notes prepared as guides to the tiain of thought. Heat and ventilation has been the great need of humauity, and the despair of architects, over since social worehip has demanded dense erowds, and a coid. climate has compelled close doors. We remember, years ago, to havo sat out an hour's services in a country ohurch with the thermometer sinking into tho zoros, air keen as lapland, and anow-drifts whitening all the "lawny prospect wide," without a 8park of fire in tho house, or any provisión for it, except whfït tho " sisters " made with their tin, woodframcd footstoves. Jxitor, we witnessed tho introductiou of the Hjotie boxstovcs, with their long reaobs of black pipo, leaking creosote, and of'ten smokiag at Uio joints, or onding iu cbimncys tbat wouldu't draw, or that, on days wiiun Ulo wind set from particular quartcrs, compelled uuusually brief services, or drovo the eorrgregatiou out of the bouse altogethcr. ïiio moet fearful trial of a mini's mortal lite is, to be compelled to preach dircctly over a bot stovo, looated right in f. o:it of tbe pulpit; and almost 08 bad to bo subjeeted to draugbta ef bot air, projected from furnaoea placed below. As light ootnes more naturally from above, so, in the order of nature best süited for the human body, beat should come from below. "Head cool and feet bot," is the great law of health ; and we livo in bopes of eooing tbe invention by which the entire Hoor of any apartment niay ba üiade a gentío oí' heat, by means of bot air, steam, ór hot water. For a church, probably the steam-pipes running through every pow, on which to rost and warm the feet, is the best possiblo mode to secur uniforrnity of distribution, and the gieite t lied !y ermfort. At home, people sit witlan thieefeet of hcating centers ; but the heating centers of a church can not be so conveiiiently located. So some are burning or roasting, whilo others are chilling, fort feet from the radiator. One or two things should always be secured : First, heaters of some convenient kind in the vestibule, to warm the feet ofincomers befare going to tbeir seats in the pewi Thoroughly wartuep as they enter, they can stand any exercises not im modera tely long ; but sitting with cold feet will drive all thoughts of ttospul from any haart or head Anothir thing seldom tbougbt of is, to próvido a convenitnt style of heater for tbe pulpit, ka keep the preacher's blood from chilling duiing the conrtuct of the opening exercises. After ho gets undcr way in his discourse hfi is a poor preacher that can not keep himself warm in the coldost of December days. Huw to keep a house warm and the ar purejat the buhic time, is a'perplexing puzzle. It is a common fallaoy, that e. 'ld air is nocessarily frosh air. The problem to be solved is, to supply a house with :'resh air off which the chili bas been taien in its passage within tbe walls. By ordinary heaters, the air tbat enters is roasting hot - akiu to red hot - stifi.ng, suffocating, injurious to the lungs as scalding fluids are to the stomach. The real reraedy is, to "jacket" a house in Wmteri as a sttam boiler is jacketed, to ieep tbe beat in ; as Oriental bouses are iek ted with verandas, closed with venesian blinds, to keep tbe bo.it out. So, if it were possible, our housos should be clothed with over houses of glass, glazed piaz.as, or portiooes. The air should be warmed in the oiuer veranda, and admitto the house as needed, frosh and warm ; providing, at the same time for the froe escape of the foul air by aportures high up in the ceiling. Cniling ventilators of impoeing dlmebsioDS are often usoless, by opening into garrots ofconünedaud dead air. Circulation is be great noe?. With a crowded congrega! i m touling the air at every expiration, a church soou beci.iiüs likc tho Black Hole of Calcutta. Those remote from the wiiidows sigh to iave them openod ; thoso lioar can not stand tho direct blast of freah. oold wind 'rom without, and sbut them ; and the sole choiee seems to bc, dsath by chili, or death by suffocation. In the bost construoted halls, chuiohesiotisef!, sbois,cars, ;hore is perpetual evideneo that the scienco of artificial ventüation is very imperi'ectly understood. KeBonance is anotber practical probem. The laws of acoust.ic3 aro not wcll undcrHtood. Audionco voorns are coiu)leted in which tbo voico sounds as if you vero a vantriloquif-t ta kiig from the eeiar, or as if you were talking into a bat. üther rooms rosound with deafening echóos. It is impossiblo always to foro:oll what the resonant qualitit s of a houfo will be ; but if. on trial, defect should be 'ound, it should be at once romediod by reniodeling the ceiling, or it will be a 3ourco of perpetual annovance to both

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus