Gothic architecture is one of the most easily
recognizable styles of architecture. It originally grew out of the Romanesque style, and
grew into its own around 1150 AD.The beginning of the style is marked by the construction
of the Abbey Church of St. Denis, which is located in France. The style finds it origins
in Abbot Suger, chief advisor to Louis VI. He wanted to recentralize the power of the
king, which was being lost to the nobles, so he convinced the king to build a church that
was serve as a focal point for the religious and patriotic ideals of the kingdom. The
building was being constructed in the only area of France were the king had any power, Ile
de France. He hoped that this would become a pilgrimage point to the people and strengthen
his power. With this the gothic era of architecture began, and would last for almost a
century. During which time many of the great cathedrals of Europe would be built.
Many stylistic differences separate the buildings of the Gothic era from those of the
Romanesque. The Gothic churches, with their superior vaulting techniques allowed for a
greater amount of windows, which lit the interiors of the churches. The buildings seemed
more open on the inside due to the structural supports located on the outside.
This style of architecture is evident in the structure of the Grace Church. The east
wall is composed almost entirely of stained glass, as are many of the side wallsThe Spire
resembles many of the churches of the Gothic period. The Garden as well as the rectory and
parish house are similar to those that were present to the churches of the Gothic period.
Like churches of the Gothic age, the Grace Church was a focal point for its community.
The Cathedrals of that period were centers of education, much like the Grace Church
School, which began as a school for the choirboys, and has grown into a reputable learning
establishment, with over 300 students enrolled. The church also provides adult education
as well as summer courses.