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Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Appalling: That is one word that immediately comes to mind on contemplating this historic Pittsburgh church transformed into a brewpub. Grotesque is another.
I have high regard for architectural preservation, and perhaps an even higher regard for brewpubs. But I also have high regard for old churches, and can't comprehend how what was done to this one is ballyhooed as a wonderful thing. Read the spiel:
Church Restored To Former Glory
The former confessional in the dining room was removed to provide a necessary link to the kitchen. The bricks salvaged from the removal of the confessional have been reused for the pillars on the outdoor sign, the facade on the outdoor ramp and the facade of the new kitchen link. The other confessional remains intact behind the bar and houses "The Church Brew Works" merchandise. Painstaking attention to detail and the integrative reuse of existing fixtures all help to create a spectacular atmosphere to enhance your brewpub experience.
By far, the most breathtaking element is the position of the brew house on the altar. Because the altar was built as a centerpiece of the church, the steel and copper tanks gleaming in the celestial blue backdrop is nothing less than captivating. This extraordinary view is only paralleled by the quality and taste of our beer.
And so the profanation of a holy place becomes a "restoration to former glory." My question: Did the "preservationists" or brewmeisters at any time experience any sort of reservation over this project?
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"The Politics of Architecture" is a piece by Peter Kreeft from a few years back that's worth reading again for its taxonomic observations on liberals and conservatives, radicals and traditionalists. Kreeft's liberal and conservative might like the brewpub abomination above, but his traditionalist and radical probably wouldn't.