First Christian Church


When Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, father of Eero Saarinen, was commissioned to build a different kind of church in Columbus in 1942, the brick-and-limestone result was about as unholy for the times as possible. Today, this National Historic Landmark is considered a Modernist masterpiece and this unorthodox house of worship ranks as one of the first contemporary churches in the United States.

Its 166ft-high campanile beckons the curious from afar. Pay close attention to the cross set in limestone relief on the 5th St facade – its asymmetrical but humbly balanced design is a daring thing of beauty. It's open for exploring during business hours, but Sunday visits require sitting for services (9am and 10:30am).

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