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Sheltering the faith, Fall 2011

Brief news items about congregational building programs.
By Julia Angley
Fall 2011 8.15.11

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First Unitarian Society of Madison (Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc./Zane Williams)

The First Unitarian Society of Madison’s meeting house, originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has an award-winning, eco-friendly addition. (Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc./Zane Williams)

Frank Lloyd Wright building updated

The First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisc., has received a “Top Ten Green Projects" award from the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment for the addition to its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building. The original building, completed in 1951, is a National Historic Landmark. The 20,000-square-foot addition complements Wright’s designs while providing expanded space for the congregation. The addition includes a 500-seat auditorium, office and meeting spaces, a kitchen, fellowship spaces, and music rehearsal spaces. It also incorporates open courtyards, fresh-air ventilation systems, low-flow faucets, and rainwater-filtration systems. These innovations and others improve energy efficiency by 40 percent and reduce water usage by 35 percent, and the building is “gold certified” by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Eugene UUs move downtown

This fall, members of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, Ore., will move from a residential neighborhood to their city’s downtown. In August 2010, the congregation purchased a 17,000-square-foot building, and volunteers are helping give the former Scottish Rite Temple a complete renovation. The project manager is a church member and retired general contractor. More than 150 members of the 400-member church are working on the renovation, helping the congregation save an estimated $150,000 in labor costs. The church is documenting the process on its website (uueugene.org) with a blog called 400 Days, the estimated time to complete the renovation.

New home for New Hope

The New Hope Unitarian Universalist Congregation in New Hudson, Mich., closed on the purchase of a church building it has been renting since 2005. The building, sited on nine-tenths of an acre, includes 2,000 square feet of usable church space plus three large storage garages and two rental apartments. The 42-member congregation held a capital campaign in 2010 to raise down payment and closing costs.

Davis church fetes new hall

In May, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, Calif., celebrated the groundbreaking on the construction site of its new social hall. The addition will include program and meeting spaces, storage space, and a kitchen. The church is a certified Green Sanctuary, and the addition will make use of natural daylight. The project will rely on volunteers and local contractors and is expected be completed by January 2012.

Send news about your congregation’s building initiatives to world@uua.org.

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