A Church Wrapped for Protection

I’ve spent a good bit of time this week working on ways to protect or at least document old Trinity Lutheran church at 3rd Ave. and Walnut St. in Grand Forks. It’s the second oldest standing church in town and the last of a group of wood-framed neighborhood churches nestled into residential neighborhood through the city at the turn of the centure.  While it seems almost inevitable that the city will destroy the old church as it sits in a unforgiving intersection of zoning, building code, local resources, structural problems, and urban development.

At the same time that I’ve been tilting at windmills, I re-read D. Ćurčić’s article titled “Byzantine Architecture on Cyprus: An Introduction to the Problem of the Genesis of a Regional Style,” in N. P. Ševčenko and C. Moss eds. Medieval Cyprus: Studies in the Art, Architecture, and History in Memory of Doula Mouriki. (Princeton 1999).  In this article he describes how village women wrap the Medieval church of St. Ioulitta and Kyriakos at Letimbou in yarn to protect it from evil forces (p. 79).

I visited this church with Amy Papalexandrou this summer and, sure enough, the church was wrapped in yarn.  Maybe this is what we need to do to protect Trinity Lutheran! Wrap it in yarn.




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