The site of this church had been owned by another local church, which chose instead to build on another site along Abbot Road. After acquiring this site and demolishing the building that stood there, building began on Martin Luther Chapel in 1963 and completed it the next year. Chicago-based architect Charles Stade was particularly suited for this commission, having attended a Lutheran seminary, in addition to his architectural education.
Like many buildings of the Mid-Century era, this building was not only set back from its neighbors but is sited as an object to be appreciated from all sides. The lower cedar shingle roof dominates the building, culminating in a spire that pierces the sky, while the splayed base walls and attached masonry planters anchor the building to the earth.
It has been suggested that Stade drew inspiration from Scandinavian stave architecture. Indeed, the strong regionalism exhibited by the traditional churches address their northern European climate, employing pitched roofs to shed snow. Both church forms feature a stack of steep roofs, which are raised to permit natural light within. Here, the lower roof sits on a band of windows at the lower eave, while the spire allows light though the upper oculus.
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