One book leads to another...

Monday, April 25, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - U


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge


Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown



Unity Temple – Oak Park, Illinois

When the original Unity Church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1905, noted American architect and loyal parishioner Frank Lloyd Wright was awarded the commission for a new building.

In keeping with his philosophy of organic architecture and a woefully tight budget, Wright submitted a design that defied nearly every concept of traditional church architecture.

Concrete, he reasoned, was both plentiful and affordable and allowed for repetition of a series of un-treated concrete forms that, to the busy street outside, would represent impenetrable protection of the sanctuary within.

Instead of a steeple or spire, Wright’s vision included the use of natural lighting; leaded glass skylights intended to impart “a sense of a happy cloudless day… “and a continuous band of clerestory windows that minimized street noise while providing further light.

The project was deemed another of a long list of masterpieces by the architect. And because the design is so unique, bearing no resemblance to other churches along Lake Street, parish commissioners decided to change the name to Unity Temple.


I bet the sanctuary truly is something to see. Would you visit? Have you been?


  1. It doesn't look like a church at all.

    1. Indeed, at first glance I thought it was a mausoleum. I'm guessing "Unity" is also an operative word here, all inclusive without idols or symbols that might leave somebody out.

  2. I'd visit if I were nearby. I don't know if I've ever driven past this or not. I used to live near Chicago and have often driven through the city, but I was never looking for this building. If I saw it, I had no idea what it was.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. I was surprised to learn you do have to know where the entrance doors are - as they are not located in plain view. I guess its located on a really busy street corner...

  3. Interesting backstory, dIEDRE.

    In a sense, I kinda-sorta came out of Unity. My paternal grandmother was into that stuff and influenced my Pa and later my Ma. But I had no idea it went back so far, nor that Frank Lloyd Wright was... one of them. (Ha!)

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. Cool! Going even further back in Wright's story is that his parents and g-parents were also Unitarians. I hadn't heard of such a thing before I checked out this building, but I'm glad I did ;-)

  4. Hi Diedre - an interesting church/temple ... 'funny' change of name - but I can I understand they didn't want to call it a church. Also seeing the connection to Frank Lloyd Wright ... thanks - I'm seeing buildings I'd never have known about - cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary! I would never have guessed what the building actually was. Wonderful surprise inside though. Interestingly, I hadn't meant to showcase Mr. Wright so much - he was just that prolific ;-)


Any thoughts? Join the conversation, comments welcome here!