Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation: The Answer to Today’s Quiz

Kim Hampton correctly identified the picture as a shot of the sanctuary of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, in Oak Park (just west of Chicago proper).  This famous site was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, himself a member of the congregation from a prominent Unitarian family that included the influential minister Jenkin Lloyd Jones.  Unity Temple was a combined Universalist and Unitarian congregation well before the denominations merged, and in designing the building Jones wanted it to express UU principles.  The sanctuary is particularly noteworthy: while it seats over 300, it’s wrap-around design means that no one is ever seated more than 45 feet away from the pulpit, making it an intimate, all-embracing space that doesn’t radically separate members from one another or from the minister.

Below are a few more photos for you to enjoy.  First, an angled shot from the pulpit showing a bit of the wrapped tier design of the seating.  Second, a shot of the many skylights overhead of the sanctuary.  Finally, a picture of the outside of the church.



Filed under Liberal Religious History, Unitarian-Universalism

2 responses to “Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation: The Answer to Today’s Quiz

  1. Thanks for the beautiful photos! I’ve never been to Unity Temple. I’m a member of a different FLW-designed house of worship (First Unitarian Society of Madison). This fall, our new addition will be completed — with a 500-seat Auditorium. We are very excited. Our historic FLW building is absolutely gorgeous, but it was built for a congregation of 150 or so adults. We now have 1500 adults (500 children & youth).

  2. Unity Temple congregation will be honored at GA this year as a “Breakthrough Congregation.” It’s a thriving community, though limited by its historical building. It is interesting to see how congregations in these situations can thrive and honor their history at the same time.

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