I read with great interest Lars Sorenson’s article [Wright’s legacy in the 21st century, WJHomes.com, Jan. 24] although the article could leave your readers with a misunderstanding about the future of Unity Temple and Gale House, our former parsonage.
Confusion sometimes arises because there are two distinctly different organizations closely connected to Unity Temple. The first is the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation (UTUUC), which owns Unity Temple and Gale House. The second organization is the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation (UTRF), a separate, secular, not-for-profit that has the primary mission of restoring Unity Temple. Although we are distinct organizations with different missions and management, we do find common interest in the preservation of Unity Temple. It has been our congregation’s home for almost 100 years, and we share with UTRF abiding affection for Unity Temple. We greatly appreciate UTRF’s work and dedication to preserving the building that is our home.
The future of the Gale House has become an important topic because UTUUC’s membership, along with the number of children in our Religious Education program, has grown significantly. This has led us to investigate how we can find more space to accommodate the kids, offices, activities and special events that we have now, as well as the other endeavors that more space would make possible.
The article incorrectly states that UTRF invited the architecture students to submit designs that would address the congregation’s space needs. In fact, it was the congregation’s Facilities Task Force that solicited the students’ designs. The students developed the concept of removing Gale House themselves without discussion with the congregation. The task force also is seeking input from professional architects and has not yet made any recommendations to the congregation as to what, if anything, should be done with Gale House.
The congregation is a realistic bunch, and we know that whatever we decide will affect many, both within and outside our organization. The leadership of UTUUC is doing its best to balance its obligations to the congregation and to our historic neighborhood.
President, Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist
Editor’s note: Wednesday Journal regrets the confusion.