A few weeks ago, I stopped in to the Christian Theological Seminary for this first time. I’ve often seen it mentioned as the best example of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the city, and its origins from the IrwinÂ Miller familyÂ helps lend that argument credibility. I admit that I was slow in appreciating this style, but I do agree that this space is special:
Earlier this year, CTS released a document of their new Master Plan which includes a Spiritual Trail running through campus. Some screen captures are posted below:
This is all admirable, but I think it hits at a larger point: Mid-Century Modern buildingsÂ and Urban Infill goals are at times opposed to each other. The large footprints and single use structures that were popular during the height of MCM are a potential challenge for the area that is about 5 to 10 miles from downtown.
Another issue is that many MCM neighborhoods are past the old city boundaries. My child is approaching school age, and with another kid on the way, we’re considering options for that stage in our life. Â It will be difficult to attract us to live in a place in the outer townships with no sidewalks, buses, or bike facilities, and given the groundswellÂ of support for urbanism, there are going to be more people like us in the future. Not every neighborhood will be able to have the initiative that the CTS is planning, but the ones who can may be able to reap the benefits.