Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seoul's PPG Place: Immanuel Methodist Church (임마누엘교회)

Across from Olympic Park in Seoul's Bangi-dong is Immanuel Methodist Church (임마누엘교회), shaped like a large glass castle.

Churches in Korea tend to be large and ostentatious---more often than not they're capped by neon crosses---but this one first caught my eye back in 2006 because it looks almost exactly like PPG Place, perhaps the most distinctive building in Pittsburgh.

PPG Place opened in 1983 and 1984, Wikipedia says, and the new church building ten years later. The church's website doesn't acknowledge the resemblence or the inspiration. Here are a few pictures from my visit in 2010.

PPG Place consists of six builidngs, the largest being 40 stories. The church has two buildings, a 16-story education center and a four-story church, and doesn't enclose a courtyard like its Pittsburgh counterpart. Behind the church is an alley full of motels and singing rooms, and across the street is the park that held the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.

Originally published elsewhere in 2010.

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