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Attracting attention through an onion dome

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By Mandy Marksteiner

Do you ever give directions by saying, “Take a right at the Orthodox Church?” Probably not, because nobody seems to know where it is!

By the end of the year it will be easy to find because the members of St. Dimitri’s Orthodox Church are planning to add an onion dome that can be clearly seen from Diamond Drive.

The church is tucked in a cul-de-sac on 39th Street and people have to drive through road construction to get to it. The outside looks like a brown house, but the inside looks and feels like a church.

When St. Dimitri’s was located on 15th Street and Trinity Drive students, visiting scientists and people on their lunch break would drop by all the time.

Everyone could find it. That changed when the church was moved to the 39th Street location.

The land along Diamond Drive is the property of Los Alamos County so the church wasn’t allowed to put a sign there. People have suggested erecting a steeple, which is a good idea, but not very Orthodox. A dome is more fitting.

The dome will have a traditional Slavic look instead of Byzantine. Byzantine domes are flat, placed over the center of the worship space and are found in countries with a warm climate. When Christianity spread north, to countries like Russia, they modified the shape to handle the snow load.


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