First Unitarian Church
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Architect Louis I. Kahn
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Location Rochester, New York   map
Date 1959 to 1967   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System brick, concrete block, cast-in-place reinforced concrete
Climate temperate
Context suburban
Style Modern
Notes A blocky, dignified composition, with light from above for the central sanctuary.




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Discussion First Unitarian Church Commentary

"Kahn's initial concept sketch began with a question mark, chosen to represent the sanctuary, at the center of the building surrounded by a circle to serve as an ambulatory representing the shades of belief possible in a Unitarian congregation. Surrounding all were the classrooms of the church school, in Kahn's words 'so the school became the walls which surround the question.' ..."

— First Unitarian Church of Rochester

Sources on First Unitarian Church

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. place-at-center diagram, p198. — Updated edition available at

Heinz Ronner, Sharad Jhaveri. Louis I. Kahn. Birkhauser Verlag, August 1996. ISBN 3-7643-1347-1. — The definitive complete works of Louis Kahn, in one large Kahn-style volume. Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about First Unitarian Church


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First Unitarian Church of RochesterChurch's own web site.

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