Why St Demetrios is so Special July 12, 2012 00:00

Why is St. Demetrios special? Well, not because of any recent reason or special sale. It's something that has been brewing for as long as my career.  I've built many architectural models of many building types, but one type stands out more than any other. Those were the Greek Orthodox churches designed by Architect Christ (pronounced Chris) Kamages. He owned an architectural firm in San Francisco named EKONA located on Front St. What does this have to with St. D's in Illinois?

Mr. Kamages ended up designing many GO churches around the country and I was his model builder. At that time before computer rendering and animation, the best method to describe a project to an audience was a three dimensional architectural model. With EKONA, I built about seventeen models for his office. I never had the opportunity to physically walk in any of them or stand in front of them and admire them....until this past weekend. Those churches that models were built were scattered all over the country and where in their very beginning stages. Many years were to pass before they have gotten built. Who knew where the model maker would be when those communities built those churches. Now I can see using the internet, I can travel to those communities and see the realization of these special projects and it makes me feel happy that I in a small part helped those communities grow and become REAL.

Twenty years later...2012...that opportunity welcomed me. My booth was facing directly the church. Seeing it for the first time in the shining sun with a blue sky in the background was surreal to me. Many times the models were photographed with a blue sky in the back ground and the camera lens pointed in front of the model church. A view I've seen many times in miniature! I'd stare at the real church facade looking at every nuance and detail that would eventually take me back many, many years. I looked that the church colonnade and remembering how difficult it was to cut through the many layers of cardboard using an X-acto knife...and the more I looked, the more I saw my hands reaching to adjust the model.

Although St. D's was not one of my projects but, many of its parts were used in other church designs. This church only five years old and points to the architects maturity with his designs, color and texture.