|Posted by George Pudlo on April 20, 2011 at 9:50 PM|
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
9400 W Congress Street
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53225
The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was designed in 1956 and completed posthumously in 1961, two years after Wright's death. Located just outside of the border of Milwaukee in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, the church has a striking appearance, not only for its design features, but because it rests in the center of a very large plot of land. When approaching the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, one is initially drawn to its unique form resembling a flying saucer. What is this thing? A church one finally realizes after focusing in on the small Greek cross on top of the domed structure. Frank Lloyd Wright had a knack for designing churches, unconventional in design, that didn't resemble traditional churches. The only other clear indication, from the exterior, that this is a church is the stained glass windows. These were not originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but were added later on. The slits enclosing these stained glass windows resemble eye lids. The dome at the top of the structure was originally faced in blue, ceramic tiles that were later replaced by a different material. The dome itself rests on a series of small, steel spheres that expand and contract with Wisconsin's ever changing weather to prevent cracking. The base underneath the dome is made entirely out of reinforced concrete. When one gets closer to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, it is seen that the entrance is flanked by two massive, horizontally natured fountains resembling the planters Wright designed for his Prairie Houses. Another, larger eye lid shaped opening is the entrance to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, topped with blue ceramic tiles.
Anyone who looks up is mesmerized by the claw-like overhang screen that fans down from the domed structure. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church with seating for over 1,000 people, thus being one of his largest church commissions. The total cost for the church mounted $1.5 million dollars.