Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church


Click the image to learn more.

Standing at the corner of North 9th Street and West Highland Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church has been called the “Mother Church of Missouri Synod Lutheranism” in Milwaukee.[1] Designed by German immigrant Frederick Velguth for Milwaukee’s oldest German Lutheran congregation, the Victorian Gothic structure, completed in 1880, is recognized as a municipal landmark (1967) and state historical landmark (1979) and is included on the National Register of Historic Places (1979).[2] At its peak in the early twentieth century, Trinity counted about 1,600 members.[3] While the neighborhood surrounding the church has changed from residential to industrial and institutional, Trinity remains a community of roughly 175 baptized members drawn from across the Milwaukee metropolitan area.[4]

In 1847, a group of Pomeranian immigrants founded Trinity Lutheran, Wisconsin’s second oldest Lutheran congregation.[5] Between 1847 and 1878, Trinity met in three different locations, all near today’s West Wells Avenue and North 4th Street.[6] In the late 1860s, Trinity parishioner and hardware mogul John Pritzlaff donated the church’s present location (previously a park known as Terrace Garden) to the growing congregation.[7]

Dedicated on April 11, 1880, Trinity’s Victorian Gothic building features local craftsmanship and materials.[8] The building’s edifice, above a limestone foundation, is made of Milwaukee’s famous Cream City brick while the interior woodwork is hand-carved Wisconsin oak and ash.[9] When the building was completed, the construction costs totaled $43,500, including $3,500 for the organ.[10] This instrument, with 34 registers and 1600 pipes, is included on the National Register of Historic Places in its own right.

Footnotes [+]

  1. ^ History of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (Milwaukee: The Church, 1972), [1-2].
  2. ^ Trinity is the second-oldest Missouri Synod congregation in the region, behind the Trinity Freistadt Lutheran Church in Mequon. “The History of Trinity Lutheran Church—Milwaukee,” Trinity Lutheran Church, accessed November 21, 2016.
  3. ^ History of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, [1].
  4. ^Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church,” The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, accessed November 28, 2016; Bobby Tanzilo, “Urban Spelunking: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church,” OnMilwaukee.com, November 21, 2013.
  5. ^The History of Trinity Lutheran Church—Milwaukee.”
  6. ^ Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jubilee Service, Ninetieth Anniversary, 1847-1937 (Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1937), 3.
  7. ^ History of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, [p. 2]; Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church: Founded 1847 (Milwaukee: The Church, [1981?]), 4.
  8. ^ Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jubilee Service, 4.
  9. ^The History of Trinity Lutheran Church—Milwaukee.”
  10. ^The History of Trinity Lutheran Church—Milwaukee.”

For Further Reading

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Jubilee Service, Ninetieth Anniversary, 1847-1937. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1937.

Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church: Founded 1847. Milwaukee: The Church, [1981?].

Explore More [+]

ImagesComments

Images