Sacred Spaces Tour II

The people at the registration and information table at South Avenue United Methodist Church gave a friendly welcome to everyone.

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Pawsburgh Photography

The welcome continued at St. Mark A.M.E. Church. The opening presentation created a sense of the Tribes of Israel, including the ways people dressed at that time, and the chance to sample historic foods and to watch a dance from the cultural traditions of the Tribes of Israel.

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Pawsburgh Photography

The choir of Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church performed beautiful music based on the Biblical Psalms.

Pawsburgh Photography

At the Mulberry Project, people could see both the challenges and the hopes at the former Mulberry Presbyterian Church.

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Michael Kearney shared the tonal beauty of the classic M. P. Möller pipe organ at St. James Church.

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St. James Church shared its sacred heritage.

Pawsburgh Photography

The Sacred Spaces Tour concluded at the Sleeping Octopus with a dinner, and the sound of bells, and artists at work.

Pawsburgh Photography
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Pawsburgh Photography

Activities of Sacred Spaces II: An Architectural Tour

◾ St. Mark AME Church, 1409 Montier Street (corner of Montier and Glenn). 11:00 a.m. opening program, 11:30 a.m. “The Tribes of Israel,” an interactive presentation, repeated at 1:00 p.m. Open 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

◾ Arc of the Covenant Church, 901 Rebecca Street (corner of Rebecca and Coal). 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. The docent will discuss the unique lantern-shaped architecture. The inside will not be open. The lettering of the original church name, “Trinity Reformed Church,” and the stonework are outstanding.

South Avenue United Methodist Church, 733 South Avenue, has the registration and information table. 1:00 p.m. Listen to the magnificent organ as you tour the church. See the beautiful mosaics in the magnificent entryway.

◾ St. James Roman Catholic Church, 718 Franklin Avenue. 1:30 p.m. Michael Kearney will play the 20-Bell Carillon and then present an organ concert. Look around at the fabulous stained glass windows designed by the Wright Goodhue Company and the chestnut ceiling called an “inverted ship.” The carillon tower has sculptures of angels and swans near the top. The church is designed in a gothic tradition that dates back as far as the 11th or 12th century. Open 11:00 a.m. until 3 p.m.

◾ Gethsemane Holiness Church, 744 Ross Street. 2:00 p.m. Hear the choir. The church building was once a YWCA.

◾ Christian Church, 748 Wallace Avenue. 2:30 p.m. Catch an artist talk by Frank Hightower, award-winning photographer, playwright and stained glass artist, African-American spirituals and art songs by Dr. William D. Banks, an opera trained bass, and fair-trade gifts and crafts from 10,000 Villages.

◾ St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 600 Pitt Street (corner of Pitt and Rebecca). 4:00 p.m. The Neighborhood Youth Outreach Program presents a musical service. The church has an inspiring design that is honored by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation with a Historic Landmark Plaque.

◾ Mulberry Community Church, 801 Wallace Avenue (corner of Wallace and Hay). 4:30 p.m. Experience the passage of light through the stained glass windows and how the architecture is community orientated. The praise and worship team will be singing. Pastor Lawrence Smith will share perspectives on the church. Open 2 to 5 p.m.

◾ 1st Spiritualist Church, meets twice a month at 1328 Singer Place (the John F. Singer Mansion). The Singer Mansion is in the National Register of Historic Places and is considered one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the country. The art and furniture are in keeping with architecture, speaking of earlier times. Craftspeople arrived from Italy, England, and Philadelphia to work on the interior including a carved oak balustrade.

◾ Mulberry Presbyterian Church, 710 Mulberry Street (opposite South Avenue Methodist Church). Though awarded a Historic Landmark Plaque by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, the building is vacant and vandalized. The Civic Arts is the recent conservator of this historic former church. They are seeking suggestions on how the building might serve the community.

◾ Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mosque, in the former Masonic Temple at 747 South Avenue (opposite Ferguson Playground) that was used for the Sonic Temple, a music venue, and the Thurgood Marshall Academy, a charter school. Visitors are taken in small groups. Some tour groups will go by floors.

◾ Pittsburgh Urban Christian School (PUCS), 809 Center Street (Center at South), in the former Calvary Lutheran Church. The school has a vibrant arts program. Children’s arts and crafts are on display. Youngsters will be working on art.

◾ The Sleeping Octopus, 1300 Wood Street (Wood at Singer Place, formerly the Yingling Mansion and the Gibbs Personal Care Home) 5:00 p.m. See Sacred Spaces art, discuss the tour during the reception, and have light hors d’oeuvres. PUCS will make a special presentation of an art project. Open into the evening.