King County Historic Preservation presentation

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the King County Historic Preservation Program hosted a meeting at Church of the Redeemer to learn more about a historic context statement on Modern era residential development recently completed for King County. Susan Boyle, AIA, a principal at BOLA Architecture + Planning, and Docomomo WEWA board member, presented findings from her research into the Modern era heritage of the county.

King County’s Historic Preservation Program has been working to develop a more complete understanding of the importance of the region’s rich Modern era heritage. The context statement is meant to guide historic preservation efforts throughout the county and to serve as a basis for future preservation planning by property owners, architects, and local jurisdictions. It will inform home owners, designers, planners, and developers and give rise to greater appreciation of the remarkable houses from this post-war period.

Boyle’s presentation included a sample of representative properties from communities throughout the county, including Bellevue, Kirkland, Burien, Lake Forest Park, Normandy Park, and Seattle’s Central Area and West Seattle neighborhoods. She also focused on the remarkable work of designer, developer, builder John Burrows and houses in the Lake Forest Park area. The presentation closed with a tour of the Church of the Redeemer building, designed by noted Northwest Modern architect Roland Terry, co-sponsored by Docomomo WEWA.

Baptistry (picture by Susan Switzer)

The tour of the church building was presented by Bill McGlinn, Junior Warden of Church of the Redeemer. It began in the Parish Hall, where Bill pointed out the multiple uses of the space and the exposed structural elements indicative of Modern Architecture. This included columns, glue-lam beams, and 4×6 wood ceiling structure.

The tour continued outside to view design features of all four exterior elevations.

  • The East elevation (rear service area) features windows in patterns like a Piet Mondrian painting.
  • The South elevation features a slanted wall with a massive glass window wall and clerestory windows just under the roof to light the interior spaces of the nave.
  • The West elevation and entry features and 35-foot high window (a modern interpretation of stained glass windows), a light roof structure that seems to float above the building, and an entrance with exposed aggregate concrete on exterior and interior to bring a sense of nature into the Building.
  • The North elevation features another massive glass window and the Memorial Garden.

The tour highlight was the interior worship space that featured new flooring and seating, impressive columns, organ, suspended cross, chandelier, and adjacent chapel. Many of the guests were moved to exclaim “Wow” and took pictures. Comments included how good Redeemer had maintained the building.

Remodelled interior at Church of the Redeemer

Read a brochure from Docomomo WEWA (10.4 KB, PDF) about the building architecture at Church of the Redeemer. The brochure opens in a new window.

Church of the Redeemer

Community life at Redeemer centers on worship in the Episcopal tradition. Art and music vitally deepen this worship. Our faith expresses itself with service to people, locally to internationally.

Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 Northeast 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. We are a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.