Tice United Methodist Church

Gundersen & Wilson Architects

  • Built

The early modern movement focused its inventive energies on housing, particularly large low-rise and high-rise social housing blocks: the push for equality for all. The great central paragon of tradition towns, the church, gained little focus until much later. Until then the church was always the exhibition of civic extravagance. Even the poorest of towns could exalt in the height of their steeple. In these new more humble times, churches often took on a more humble nature as well.

Tice United Methodist Church is a prime example of a church that exhibits many features of this shift in prerogative.

This church seems to have Scandinavian origins with its red brick and exposed wooden roof. The delicate curve of the laminated wood beams spans from exterior wall to exterior without any ancillary support. This low-slung structure at once allows the space a sacred expansiveness while maintaining the humble intimacy of the modern ideal.

From the exterior this building, short and low, with its earthy tones, seems almost to be at one with the Earth. It appears to be set in or perhaps rising out of the ground - quite the opposite image to the shining beacon on a hill that epitomized early American churches.

AIA Florida Southwest Southwest Florida Museum of History Herman Miller