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.
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 The dome’s original blue tile exterior has been replaced by a synthetic plastic resin due to structural problems.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.