Church Steeple in Downtown Orlando

I snapped this image in downtown Orlando from a car window so excuse the quality.  The juxtaposition of these similar but very different elements is what I find interesting.  Notice the ornamental church steeple in the foreground.  In the background, on a different church building, the cross, a more meaningful symbol of Christ, but altogether a different element.  Each reflects the architecture of its attached building.

While there are competing questions about how best for a church to spend resources as well as the knowledge that the facilities aren’t holy but are designed for worship, which do you feel accomplishes the purpose…of denoting these as churches?  Holy places?  Sanctuaries?  Is the traditional steeple simply that…ornamental?  Or is it more meaningful?  Is it still relevant?

By the way, a few facts I’ve scoured on the history of the steeple…

Churches were typically at the center of town settlements.  The steeple was placed on top of the church building to help mark the center of town.  The steeple was often viewed as a directional element pointing upward towards the heavens.  And last, the steeple was one of the only architectural elements from their religious heritage that early American settlers embraced for the construction of new places of worship.

Church Steeple in Downtown Orlando

Author: Tory Parish

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