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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

Wright’s design for the structure he affectionately termed “a little St. Sophia” is defined by the symbols of the Greek Orthodox faith (it is essentially a Greek cross inscribed 
in a circle), but it is a marked departure from traditional Byzantine church architecture.

Built

1956

Client

Annunciation Greek Orthodox congregation

Address

9400 West Congress

Status

National Register of Historic Places. Open to the public.

Four equidistant concrete pillars support the domed roof while defining a cross on the main floor. Wright’s resulting uninterrupted circular sanctuary creates an interior at once spacious and intimate. The 106-foot wide dome is not fixed, but floats on thousands of ball bearings contained in a steel rail that caps the outer wall. The gold-anodized aluminum used throughout the building was a new material developed by Alcoa. The dome’s original blue tile exterior has been replaced by a synthetic plastic resin due to structural problems. One of Wright’s last major commissions, the church was not unveiled until two years after his death.

News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation