Monday, December 16, 2013

Ralph Adams Cram at 150

Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Adams Cram (1863-1942), architect (with Bertram Goodhue) of my favorite church in the United States, Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue, and many other great ecclesiastical and collegiate buildings, mostly in the Gothic style of whose revival he was a great champion. I spent the weekend in the Boston area celebrating his legacy (an event organized by his firm) with a group that included several of his descendants. Cram buildings visited included Boston University's Marsh Chapel, Ruggles Baptist Church, the Church of the Advent (of which the Lady Chapel is his work), his private chapel (my own photo of which from Saturday appears below) in Sudbury near St Elizabeth's Episcopal Church (both named for the medieval Hungarian royal saint), the Society of St John the Evangelist, and All Saints Ashmont, his first church, where we attended a service of Lessons & Carols sung by the parish's choir of men and boys.

Other attendees included fellow monarchists Matthew Alderman (who I somewhat randomly met in Rome in February 2004 but hadn't seen since) and Charles A. Coulombe (who I've known online since 1999 but hadn't seen since our first meeting in Los Angeles in August 2006). Not nearly as well known as his monumental architectural achievements is that Cram, an Anglo-Catholic and medievalist, was correspondingly a Monarchist of sorts, authoring this intriguing "Invitation to Monarchy" for The American Mercury in 1936.

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