Part Two: Unity Makes Strength
The East Portal
In the tradition of medieval cathedrals, the sculpture around the church entrance introduces the full range of subjects of the Christian story.
Small stone-carved figures of Adam and Eve appear on each side of the portal. The horizontal lintel of the central arch contains small symbols of the apostles with Christ as the Lamb holding the triumphant banner of the Resurrection. Filling the stone arch above are female figures representing the virtues surmounting and displacing their counterpart vices.
On the metal arch surrounding the door, vines laden with grapes symbolize the Eucharist as well as refer to many scriptural passages. The vines surround symbols of Christ, his passion, and the apostles.
The central tympanum panel of the doorway, along with traditional Christian iconography, contains symbols and inscriptions particular to the Dutch Reformed communion, bringing the sculptural program into the contemporary context of the builders of the church. On banners at each side the Dutch inscription reads: “Unity Makes Strength.” The central Latin inscription reads: “Without the Lord, all is vain.”
Samuel Yellin, a highly regarded Arts & Crafts blacksmith from Philadelphia, designed and created the ornamental metalwork, including the original lamps and door hardware.
Part Three: The Narthex, and the Nave
Part One: Inspired Design
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