Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good Library to display Orus Eash Memorial Architecture exhibit in October

The Church-Chapel sanctuary on the Goshen College campus was completed in 1959, when this photo was taken. It can seat up to 1,200 people and was the focal point of College Mennonite Church, designed by Orus Eash. In 1960 when it was dedicated, the program description read: "Essentially it is a circular sanctuary placed inside a square of educational facilities. The circular arrangement of the sanctuary provides face-to-face seating, suggesting the unity of brotherhood. The projection of the pulpit into the midst of the congregation reminds the worshiper of the centrality of the Word and the importance of its message. The cross and the living vine serve as constant reminders of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The simple, strong materials without fašade and the fullness of light are expressive of firm truth and the full light of the Gospel."

Exhibit: Orus Eash Memorial Architecture Exhibit
Dates: Oct. 2-17, 2009
Artist's reception: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2-4 p.m.
Location: The Goshen College Good Library Gallery
Cost: Free and open to the public
Event sponsors: Goshen College Art Department and the Harold and Wilma Good Library

GOSHEN, Ind. – The designer of nine Goshen College structures, Orus Eash (1915-2008), will be remembered in a memorial exhibit in the college's Good Library Gallery from Oct. 2 to 17, with a reception during the college's Homecoming weekend on Oct. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Orus' son, John Eash of Sacramento, Calif., has selected designs and renderings to share from his father's 500-plus building designs collection.

According to Goshen College Professor Emeritus of Art Abner Hershberger, Orus Eash "learned at [Goshen College] that his interests in engineering and art could be brought together in the discipline of architecture. He then enrolled at the University of Michigan and followed his dream [and graduated in 1939]."

Eash, a 1938 Goshen College alumnus, was influenced by international schools of architecture including Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn and others. His style reflected the simple elegance of Danish-Modernism.

The exhibit will provide a comprehensive view of his work and will include photos of his architectural works. Included in the exhibit will be designs for nine GC structures done by Eash. He was the architect of College Mennonite Church, along with the Union Building, Newcomer Center, Wyse Hall, and Kratz, Miller and Yoder residence halls. He also developed a campus master plan.

Through many conversations with Eash, Hershberger "realized how seriously he took his involvement with GC buildings," said Hershberger, who helped prepare the exhibit. "He seemed to consider the Goshen College campus as extended family and revealed an on-going concern for what happened there."

Eash also designed large office buildings, commercial buildings, private residences as well as churches. He designed more than 500 buildings, covering 26 different categories of architecture. He practiced architecture in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Traverse City, Mich.; Sarasota, Fla.; and Sacramento, Calif.

"I do not believe Orus was ever fully understood as the artist he was, nor appreciated for his vast architectural knowledge and unusual insights," Hershberger said.

Linda Keane, a professor of architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will discuss her mentor's work at the opening reception.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Goshen College Art Department and the Harold and Wilma Good Library and is free and open to the public.

The Library Gallery, located on the lower level of the Harold and Wilma Good Library on the campus of Goshen College, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 11 p.m. Sunday.

-By Julie Weirich

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit



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