In 2001, a Gothic-revival-style church located in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis, Missouri, was destroyed by fire, with only its architectural shell still standing. Known as the “Spring Church,” the remaining structure became a beloved community landmark and the site of impromptu gatherings and other events. Now, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation has announced that the structural shell of the Spring Church has been preserved in order to create a safe and welcoming open air public space and site for artist projects. Located at 620 North Spring Avenue—an easy walk from the Pulitzer’s museum building–the Spring Church is scheduled to open to the public this July.
The Pulitzer began improvements to the church in 2020 with a goal of stabilizing the structure while maintaining the architectural character of the building. The design was undertaken by St. Louis-based Kiku Obata & Company and McNealey Engineering, Inc., who were sensitive to the museum’s goals. The roofless church is open to the sky, retaining a feature that has helped to make the building an iconic site in the neighborhood. Updates include accessible pathways, making repairs to the masonry, and adding infrastructure for electricity and lighting, among other upgrades.
In addition to the restoration of the Spring Church, the initiative also encompasses an adjacent lot that has undergone enhancements and will remain a publicly accessible green space. Designed by Studio Land Arts of Granite City, IL, this space includes seating and plants, integrating architectural elements from a former building that were unearthed during construction.
The Pulitzer’s transformation of the Spring Church follows that of Park-Like, a sustainably designed green space located across the street from the museum. Like Park-Like, the Spring Church will be open daily, free of charge, from sunrise to sunset.
The Spring Church will open to the public with a series of artist projects, celebrations, and community collaborations. In July, artist Jordan Weber will present a week-long public artwork and event series entitled All Our Liberations. Working with collaborators Weber met during his 2021 residency with the Pulitzer and Washington University in St. Louis, the artist will host a series of programs for both formerly incarcerated individuals and the public.
The opening celebration for the Spring Church will take place this October and include a performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra InUnison Chorus. Other partnerships and projects will be announced this fall.
About the Pulitzer Arts Foundation
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation is an art museum that offers meaningful experiences with art and architecture. The Pulitzer campus is located in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis, Missouri, and includes the museum, the Park-Like garden, the forthcoming Spring Church, and other outdoor spaces.
Since its founding in 2001, the museum has presented art from around the world in its celebrated building designed by Tadao Ando. Highlights have included the exhibitions Hannah Wilke: Art for Life’s Sake (2021-22); Terry Adkins: Resounding (2020-21); Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work (2018-19); Blue Black, a group show curated by artist Glenn Ligon (2017); Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form (2016-17); raumlaborberlin: 4562 Enright Avenue (2016); Reflections of the Buddha (2011-12); Urban Alchemy / Gordon Matta-Clark (2009-10); Dan Flavin: Constructed Light (2008); and Brancusi and Serra in Dialogue (2005). These exhibitions are complemented by programs that bring together leading figures from the fields of art, architecture, design, urban planning, and others. The Pulitzer brings art and people together to explore ideas and inspire new perspectives.
The museum is open Thursday through Sunday, 10am–5pm, with evening hours until 8pm on Friday. Outdoor spaces are open daily, sunup to sundown. Admission is free.
For more information, visit pulitzerarts.org