Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

In 2005, during my first year teaching at Valparaiso University, I offered a seminar called the American Home. While searching for a case study for my students, I happened on the 1960 house designed for the university president by Chicago architect Charles E. Stade. My students...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xxix

The ranch house bustles with activity. Mom and Dad coax their three children into their Sunday best and lead them out the door and into the family station wagon. Driving down a major thoroughfare in their...

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1. The Modern Church Movement

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pp. 1-28

The postwar church building boom prompted much earnest conversation about what churches should look like and how they should function. Print resources multiplied, and building committees could often get their hands on the freshest advice for no more than...

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2. The "Form-Givers" of Suburban Religion

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pp. 29-54

Thousands of churches, scattered throughout the American suburbs of the 1950s and 1960s, assert the vitality and reach of the postwar modern church movement. If you contact the congregation inhabiting one of these buildings, however, it is unlikely...

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3. From Dream to Dedication

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pp. 55-84

William Clark, in his popular 1957 volume Building the New Church, warned that “one should never approach a church building project with the idea that it is going to be a simple process. Quite the contrary is the truth.”1 Planning and building a modern...

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4. The A-Frame Church

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pp. 85-124

As the previous chapters have shown, the modernist movement in American church architecture had to negotiate a complex and often competing set of factors to gain momentum: the centuries-long weight of tradition in religious building, the aesthetic...

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5. The Suburban Sanctuary

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pp. 125-168

The heart of the modern suburban church was worship. Worship space, called the sanctuary or simply “the church,” was the primary distinguishing feature of the church building.1 As the example of the A-frame demonstrates, churches were identified and...

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6. Living and Learning as a Suburban Church Family

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pp. 169-200

Worship was the central focus of suburban congregations, but it was hardly their only activity. Beyond the sanctuary, churches buzzed with life. Inside and out, the architecture of the new churches announced the multiple roles that suburban congregations...

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7. Religion, Architecture, and Community in the Celebrated Suburb of Park Forest, Illinois

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pp. 201-238

In the fall of 1948, thirty miles south of Chicago, the newly organized American Community Builders Corporation (ACB) began transforming twenty-four hundred acres of farmland into one of the first extensively planned postwar suburbs in America: Park Forest, Illinois...

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8. The Afterlife of the Postwar Suburban Church

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pp. 239-264

Postwar suburban communities like Park Forest are today very different from what they were in the 1950s. Although research for this book centered on the experience of the suburban churches in the 1950s and 1960s, my visits to these places inevitably included conversations...

Appendix A

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pp. 265-265

Appendix B

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pp. 266-267

Appendix C

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pp. 268-271

Appendix D

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pp. 272-272

Appendix E

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pp. 273-274

Notes

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pp. 275-312

Sources for Research

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pp. 313-330

Index

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pp. 331-345

About the Author

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