Sunday, July 12
A Pleasant Country Church
I was up at Fish Creek in Door County along Lake Michigan this Fourth of July, my parents having come up for the occasion, and one of our drives round the peninsula led me to this handsome little church, St. Mary of the Lake, once a parish in its own right and now a chapel of ease of sorts for the new, consolidated peninsular parish of Stella Maris. It has the look of the inter-war year, when Gothic revival had become canonical, if not quite conventionalized. It is a model of balanced economy, with simple massing and detailing carefully considered, just enough but not too little. In particular, the combination bell-cote/chimney is quite fine. This specific detail I have always been fond of, and I believe it originated in a Ralph Adams Cram church in Americus, Georgia, where it was combined with a buttress.
The mosaic, with its hieratic Virgin and modern ships on stylized waves, is also a welcome touch of color, though perhaps if the lunette were larger and the design slightly bolder, it would read better at a distance.