The wood used throughout the buildings is English Bog oak, quarter-sawn to display a lovely grain. Forty-five craftsmen from Bavaria were hired by the architects Brigham, Coveny and Bisby of Boston to produce very intricate carvings under the direction of John Kirkmeyer (look elsewhere for more about him). He is the most significant craftsman and is credited with the canopy over the baptismal font and the carving of the molds for the magnificent bronze doors and the cloister gates. These carvings portray our Unitarian Universalist history and values.
On the choir screen are shields depicting Old Testament stories and children holding symbols of Faith, Reverence, Kindness, Spiritual Strength, Ten Commandments, Learning, Wisdom, and Hope.
Nine-inch figures of Old Testament prophets holding biblical verses that are printed in gold leaf adorn the pulpit. Above the prophets are angels that symbolize purity of soul, reverence, prayer, speechmaking, ecstasy, concentration and medicine.
All of the pews are uniquely carved; the aisle ends and bench backs are different. Variation exists even within each medallion. Similar variety can be seen on the railings beside the pulpit and on the organ cases with the muscians and singers.
The ten angels in the rafters symbolize subjects studied in higher education. Education was a sincere focus of H H Rogers. It is in evidence in his philanthropies everywhere.
In addition to the woodwork throughout the sanctuary, the detailed carvings in the parish house and the former minister’s house are equally magnificent.