Athens, GA – Local architect Andrew Matchfield reported his six-year-old daughter, Amanda, to the Athens Housing Authority (AHA) on Friday for failing to demonstrate adequate permits and city-approved plans during her recitation of the Church-and-Steeple nursery rhyme.
Amanda, a recent second-grade graduate, was reportedly playing in the family’s front yard when a friend asked her to recite the time-honored nursery rhyme to a group of children who had never heard it. Folding her hands together while chanting “Here is the church. Here is the steeple,” the girl was loudly berated by her father as she began to demonstrate how the doors opened to show all the people.
“I love my daughter, but I had to call ‘bullshit’ on her latest project,” said Matchfield over the weekend. “Put simply, her church design was sloppy, unrefined, and, quite frankly, unsafe. Watching her pass it off as a finished product to her friends broke my heart.”
Among his biggest concerns, Matchfield pointed out that size of Amanda’s hand-church was much too small to hold the number of occupants, or “people,” his daughter claimed would fit inside. The disappointed father also detailed a number of obvious structural deficiencies that fell short of even the most lenient building codes in the state of Georgia.
“The church Amanda was showing her friends would be entirely unsafe for even the smallest of congregations,” said Matchfield, while pointing at a photo of his daughter’s clasped hands. “Aside from the doors being on the roof, which violates over a dozen local codes, the entire church seems to flip upside down when those doors are opened. If that weren’t enough, Amanda was unable to provide proof of handicap accessibility or adequate fire escapes. I taught her better than that.”
Matchfield, a senior partner at Higginson-Matchfield Designs, has designed over 130 homes in his twenty-plus years as an architect. A number of his designs have won national design awards, including the prestigiuos Vendy Award in 1998 for his highly-regarded renovation of the famous Dearing-Wilkins House in Athens.
Upon a thorough review of the report, the AHA fined Amanda $20,000 and had her fingers broken to prevent future unsanctioned hand-designs from occurring. At Matchfield’s request, the AHA also submitted a request to the Georgia Housing Commission (GHC) to deny Amanda admission to any state-funded architecture school for life, should she decide to one day follow in her father’s footsteps. A decision is expected from the GHC within the next week.
When reached for comment on Friday, Amanda avoided addressing her recent run-in with the local housing authorities, choosing instead to focus her attention on other neighborhood news.
“My friend Alexa just got the new Barbie that has a cell phone,” said Amanda eating a strawberry Fruit Roll-Up. “But my mom says her parents buy her whatever she wants cause they’re getting divorced.”
In related news, Andrew Matchfield recently filed two separate injunctions against his five-year-old nephew, Connor, for building a Lego castle with no working bathrooms and a space ship on the roof.