Cathedral of St. John the Divine—Ugh!

I went there on a hot afternoon to get tickets to a free concert that night and wandered around in the cathedral. I don’t like it. It’s just big, is all. Huge, tall, imposing. It doesn’t have the grace of say, the Wells Cathedral, or the King’s College chapel at Cambridge. It’s one of those Chistian monuments meant to impress its parishioners by sheer size. Worship us you dumb shits, for we are indeed mighty—and give us your money. (There are certainly other aspects to this mighty edifice, such as its tapestry collection, bronze doors, organ, concerts, and certainly its present day stone masons that seem commendable, but this is just my untutored human reaction to the feeling I get standing in the main vault.)

The high stained glass windows are really too high to see, and I much prefer geometric shapes (like these) to biblical scenes in stained glass.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

4 Responses to Cathedral of St. John the Divine—Ugh!

  1. love these pics, thanks for including them, even tho the rest of the structure sounds uninspiring, these do.

  2. For an altogether different experience, next time you're in NYC check out The Church of the Transfiguration ("The Little Church Around the Corner", One East 29th Street, New York, New York 10016). It's built on a much more human scale.

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