This project is a collaborative between CUArch and the Hopewell United Methodist Church and is intended to directly serve the surrounding communities in Jefferson County, OH and the Southeastern Ohio region.
This project will also serve as a model for rural communities suffering demographic and economic stresses, and the loss of often overlooked historic rural structures, by raising awareness of this loss and using the site and recovered materials as a means, “by design”, to restore historical culture via functional new structures and landscapes that literally retain the material culture in place and can help sustain the underlying site.
The history of the Hopewell United Methodist Church dates back to the 1780’s, and the church has been noted as possibly the first denominational church in the Northwest Territory. In 1798, the first Methodist Church in Eastern Ohio was built at the site of the current Hopewell Cemetery. The first ordination west of the Ohio River took place at this site in 1803, where the Bishop Francis Asbury ordained John Wrechell as deacon. By 1844, a new church was built at the site, and this is the structure that is now abandoned and the focus of this project. In 1986, the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church presented the Hopewell United Methodist Church with a plaque marking the church as a historic site. The Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society has discovered soldiers from the War of 1812 buried at the Hopewell Cemetery.
The church building at the site has been abandoned for over 20 years, during which time there has been no heat in the building and no maintenance performed. As a result, the physical condition of the church is poor and the roof of the steeple has completely collapsed. The building has no water and sewer service and therefore cannot be adapted, and the predominantly elderly congregation is unable to maintain the building. The structural deterioration of the building is on-going and therefore this project proposes to reclaim the building’s materials and its footprint for a new commemorative and contemplative open structure to serve visitors to the cemetery site. The course will also generate opportunities for the community to rediscover this site and participate in the recovery of its history.
Reclaim + Remake Course Time: 8 weeks May 7–June 30, 2012 Topic: careful dismantling of an abandoned/historic church & the design/construction of a commemorative structure in the same footprint using materials of the pre-existing structure. Location: Hopewell Cemetery, Warren Township, Jefferson County, OH Lodging: provided on-site
Course Description This is a 6-credit eight-week design/build course. The focus is the abandoned but historic Hopewell United Methodist Church on the site of the historic Hopewell Cemetery in Warren Township, Jefferson County, OH. It is expected that (based on final participant numbers), the dismantling phase will take 3-4 weeks and the build phase will take 4-5 weeks. The design process will take place throughout the entire eight weeks. Although the course is offered by the Summer Institute for Architecture of the NAAB-accredited The Catholic University of America School of Architecture + Planning (CUArch), it is open to both CUArch and non-CUArch students. It is recommended that students be either upper-level undergraduate (Junior or Senior) or graduate-level.
The eight-week course will take place entirely on-site in Ohio. The Hopewell United Methodist Church will provide sleeping space in their facility several hundred yards from the cemetery site. The facility has a commercial kitchen and restroom and shower facilities and a large eating and meeting room. The course will run Mondays-Fridays with weekends available for options for rest, explorations in the region, etc. Students will be able to bring their own vehicles and a group / project vehicle will be on-site for the project. The site is in a rural area approximately 50 miles to the southwest of Pittsburgh, PA and approximately 130 miles east of Columbus, OH. Students will be responsible for their travel to and from the site.
This course is offered through the Summer Institute for Architecture at CUArch (http://architecture.cua.edu/summerprograms/index.cfm). The application for CUA Summer Programs can be found at the following link (http://summer.cua.edu/applications/index.cfm). Click on “Visiting College and Summer College Student Application”. The click on either “Undergraduate or Graduate Applicants – Start a New Application”, then click on “Create Account” if not a CUA student. Applications for these programs are due by April 15, 2012.
For any questions about details of the project and the course logistics please feel free to contact: Bradley Guy, GUY@cua.edu
For information about CUArch Summer Institute for Architecture please direct inquiries to: Julie Kim Director of CUArch Summer Institute for Architecture Office: 209 Crough Center Tel: 202-319-6106 Email: email@example.com
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