There are two things Americans are known for: cars and religion. Combine the two and you have a classic “Life” magazine photo spread from the April 15, 1955, issue. But what really distinguished the Venice Presbyterian Drive-In Church was its Miesian platform building designed by Victor Lundy.
I’ve uncovered a lot of unique buildings while doing research for my thesis on Sarasota School of Architecture preservation efforts, but I think the drive-in church is the most special. It was Lundy’s first commission after he moved to Sarasota in 1954. The two-story structure was set on an 8.5 acre site among pine trees. Lundy was careful to not have any trees knocked down. The flat-roofed structure cost $7,600 to build and it served as a pulpit and place for the choir, organ, and Sunday school classes.
Apparently other churches took notice of Lundy’s work because he went on to receive many church commissions in his career, including a more traditional sanctuary for Venice Presbyterian.
Unfortunately, the drive-in church fad fizzled out and the glass box in the pines was torn down. But the photos are too entertaining not to post.