Edgar Wood Centre

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Edgar Wood Centre
EdgarWoodBuilding.jpg
Side view of the church
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
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Edgar Wood Centre
Location in Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°27′28″N2°12′59″W / 53.4579°N 2.2164°W / 53.4579; -2.2164
OS grid reference SJ 85729 95702
Location Fallowfield, Manchester
CountryEngland
Denomination Universal Church of the Kingdom of God
Architecture
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationGrade I
Designated18 December 1963
Architect(s) Edgar Wood
Architectural typeChurch
Groundbreaking 1903

The Edgar Wood Centre is a former Church of Christ, Scientist building in Fallowfield, Manchester, England. The church was designed by Edgar Wood in 1903. Nikolaus Pevsner considered it "the only religious building in Lancashire that would be indispensable in a survey of twentieth century church design in all England." [1] It is a Grade I listed building and has been on the Heritage at Risk Register published by Historic England.

The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in 1879 in Boston, Massachusetts, by Mary Baker Eddy, author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and founder and discoverer of Christian Science. The church was founded "to commemorate the word and works of [Christ Jesus]" and "reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing". Sunday services are held throughout the year and weekly testimony meetings are held on Wednesday evenings, where following brief readings from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, those in attendance are invited to give testimonies of healing brought about through Christian Science prayer.

Fallowfield suburb of the city of Manchester, England

Fallowfield is a suburb of Manchester, England, with a population at the 2011 census of 15,211. Historically in Lancashire, it lies 3 miles (5 km) south of Manchester city centre and is bisected east–west by Wilmslow Road and north–south by Moseley Road and Wilbraham Road. The former Fallowfield Loop railway line, now a cycle path, follows a route nearly parallel with the east–west main road.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Contents

History

The building was designed by the architect Edgar Wood for the Christian Scientists' first church in Britain. Construction began in 1903–4. A shortage of space and money led to modifications to the design, and further work took place in 1905–7. [2]

Edgar Wood English architect

Edgar Wood (1860–1935) was an architect, artist and draftsman who practised from Manchester at the turn of the 20th century and gained a considerable reputation in the United Kingdom. He was regarded as a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement which was prevalent between 1860 and 1910.

Edgar Wood Centre: the gateway Church of the Christ Scientist-2.jpg
Edgar Wood Centre: the gateway

Pevsner described the church as "one of the most original buildings of that time in England, or indeed anywhere." [3] The church was decorated by bronze lettering of parts of the Bible and works by Mary Baker Eddy, an Arabic organ screen, and chairs designed by Wood.

Nikolaus Pevsner German-born British scholar

Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner was a German, later British scholar of the history of art, especially of architecture.

Mary Baker Eddy American religious leader

Mary Baker Eddy established the Church of Christ, Scientist, as a Christian denomination and worldwide movement of spiritual healers. She wrote and published the movement's textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and 15 other books. She started several weekly and monthly magazines—the Christian Science Sentinel, The Christian Science Journal, and The Herald of Christian Science—that feature articles on Christian Science practice and verified testimonies of healing. In 1908, at the age of 87, she founded The Christian Science Monitor, a global newspaper that has won seven Pulitzer Prizes. Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures has been a best seller for decades, and was selected as one of the "75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World", by the Women's National Book Association. In 1995 Eddy was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. In 2002, The Mary Baker Eddy Library opened its doors, giving the public access to one of the largest collections about an American woman.

It was designed by Edgar Wood in Expressionist style with Art Nouveau details, and later used as offices. It is in red brick, partly rendered, with a slate roof. The building has a Y-shaped plan, with a main range and two splayed wings, and with a cylindrical turret with a conical roof in an angle. In the gable end is a semicircular-headed doorway with splayed sandstone sides, above which is a cruciform-shaped window. At the other end is a porch with a segmental-headed arch. In the roof are tall dormer windows. [4] [5]

Expressionist architecture architectural style

Expressionist architecture is an architectural movement in Europe during the first decades of the 20th century in parallel with the expressionist visual and performing arts that especially developed and dominated in Germany. Brick Expressionism is a special variant of this movement in western and northern Germany and in The Netherlands. Expressionist architecture is one of the three dominant styles of Modern architecture.

Art Nouveau Style of art & architecture about 1890 to 1910

Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts. It was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers.

Stucco material made of aggregates, a binder, and water

Stucco or render is a material made of aggregates, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials, such as metal, concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.

The Grade-II listed gateway, designed by Wood in Art Nouveau style, is also red brick with some sandstone, and a slate roof. It consists of a segmental arch with a steep gable containing a small semi-cylindrical oriel window. At the sides are canted buttresses with flat tops. [6] There is a blue plaque to Wood on the gateway.

Slate A fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous, weakly metamorphic rock

Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock. Foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering, but instead is in planes perpendicular to the direction of metamorphic compression.

Oriel window type of bay window

An oriel window is a form of bay window which protrudes from the main wall of a building but does not reach to the ground. Supported by corbels, brackets, or similar, an oriel window is most commonly found projecting from an upper floor but is also sometimes used on the ground floor.

Cant (architecture) architectural term for a part of a facade set at an angle to another part of the facade

Cant or canted in architecture is an angled (oblique) line or surface particularly which cuts off a corner.

The church closed in 1971 and was heavily vandalised before reopening as the Edgar Wood Centre in 1975. [7] In turn, this closed in 2003, and the building is currently used as a Universal Church of the Kingdom of God centre. [8] It was placed on the English Heritage Register of Buildings at Risk 2007, [9] but is no longer listed as "At Risk." The church is a Grade I listed building since 18 December 1963. [10] Most of the furnishings and stained glass have been removed. [2]

Listed building Collection of protected architectural creations in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

See also

Notes

  1. Hartwell 2002, p. 338.
  2. 1 2 Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2004, p. 469-471.
  3. Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2004, p. 469-71.
  4. Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2004, pp. 469–471.
  5. Historic England. "Former First Church of Christ Scientist (1197770)". National Heritage List for England .
  6. Historic England. "Arched Gateway to Former First Church of Christ Scientist (1292610)". National Heritage List for England .
  7. Cockburn, Mary-Ann. "'Wood' you credit it!". Manchester Forum Summer 2003. Manchester Civic Society.
  8. Sunday, 5/2/2017. "Addresses". Uckg.org. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  9. "Edgar Wood Centre, Daisy Bank Road". Buildings at Risk Register 2007. English Heritage. 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  10. "The Edgar Wood Centre, Manchester". British Listed Buildings.

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References