Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington

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The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA), completed in 1964 as the new Sanctuary building for Arlington’s rapidly growing congregation, was designed by master modernist architect Charles M. Goodman. The two-story Sanctuary features pre-cast concrete construction, a prominent overhanging canopy roof and wrapping clerestory windows. Suggesting traditional meeting halls and temples in its form, the building has character-defining features of the Brutalist architectural style in the Modern Movement. An excellent example of a Modern Movement church building, the UUCA Sanctuary embodies many of Goodman’s signature design ideals and the architect’s interpretation of a modern aesthetic for ecclesiastical architecture. At the time of its listing, the Arlington church was one of only three ecclesiastical buildings designed by Goodman and is the only one of his church buildings constructed in Virginia. An addition constructed in 1993-94 realized Goodman’s original vision for a multi-purpose administrative and social wing to be located on the south side of the Sanctuary, and a second addition completed in 2013 further provided for these functions. Both additions are complementary in their design and form to the original block, and fulfill Goodman’s original vision for an expandable meeting space.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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