ARCH 1121 An Introduction to Architecture…Spring 2016 Mishara

A building I really like in my neighborhood is St. Francis De Sales church. It’s located on 129 street in Belle Harbor, NY, and it’s just around the corner from my house. I am in no way religious, and I haven’t gone inside this building in a while, as it was where the services took place for my grandfather, but the architecture of it exterior wise is very interesting. It has many aged arches, different styled columns and entryways, and also the windows have traditional styling to it too. The building faces east, and on certain days, the sun sets in such a way that it surrounds the statues atop of it, ones that all face east. One thing that may or may not be coincidence is that each window is divided by section panes, into 12 pieces. I thought this to have some relation to the 12 days of Christmas. May or may not be just a theory, but to an extent it would make sense.

Growing up literally around the corner from them, the bells that sound off each day have always given me a nostalgic feeling. Even if I’m sitting in my own bedroom, I still get flashbacks from time periods that I can still remember as a kid. About 3 years ago, I hit my head while skateboarding and gave myself a concussion that nearly killed me. It destroyed my entire memory of my past; imagine waking up one day and having not the slightest clue who any of your ‘friends’ are, or who they were, or what you did/where you went with them. Imagine it all got erased as if it never even happened. While I don’t remember pretty much anything from when I was 15 or younger(except tiny memories here and there), one thing that always gives me goosebumps and flashbacks is the sound of those church bells. I’ve even been inside of the nave when the sound goes off, and between the echo, and the sound itself, it creates almost an amplified vibration that is felt everywhere inside of the church.

The inside of the church is very oddly shaped, the main room has a lay out that confuses me. While the floor itself is of a square shape, the walls round off and come to a point at the top, similar to a cone. So in short, the nave is constructed as if a cone had a square base. The architecture itself is styled very traditionally, to extents that are far beyond my knowledge, and I’d butcher it if I tried to explain it. In reality, I’ve taken 3 separate trips back to the church just to figure out how to describe it for this assignment, and yet even now I’m at a loss of words. Simply put, it’s a beautiful piece of architecture,  and even though I’m practically the opposite of religious, I can still appreciate a nice church when I see one.