Classic Design

Christopher Wren in Missouri.

Yes, I mean Sir Christopher Wren, the English architect who lived and died before the United States became a nation. Missouri hosted a few adventurous Europeans – more French than English – during his lifetime. But for the most part it remained a home to Native Americans and abundant wildlife.

So how are they connected?

The story includes cities, colleges, a president and a prime minister.

There was a war. London endured bombings in which many buildings, including some of the smaller churches designed by Wren after the Great London Fire were destroyed by fire. A college in Missouri ¬†purchased one of these churches, moved it, and assembled it stone by stone (with repairs) on campus. Then they invited the US President (a native son) and the British Prime Minister (son of an American mother) to speak on campus. (I’m not certain if the church was reconstructed before or after the speech.) Then the speech became famous because of the phrase “Iron Curtain”.

In use as the campus chapel, the Christopher Wren church stands proud today. A nice museum on the life and times of Sir Winston Churchill is in the basement. (I’d say crypt but I don’t think any bodies are entombed.)


Classic design from Wren in Missouri

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