Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

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Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.jpg
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is located in Wisconsin
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is located in the United States
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Location1046 N. 9th St.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Coordinates43°2′39″N 87°55′21″W / 43.04417°N 87.92250°W / 43.04417; -87.92250Coordinates: 43°2′39″N 87°55′21″W / 43.04417°N 87.92250°W / 43.04417; -87.92250
ArchitectFrederick Velguth
Architectural styleGothic
NRHP reference #79000099[1]
Added to NRHPMay 8, 1979

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is a Lutheran church located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated State Historic Site. The building was also declared a Milwaukee Landmark in 1967.


Trinity's congregation was founded by German immigrants of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in 1847, and is the oldest church associated with that synod in the city.[2]

Members of the Trinity Church established St. Stephen Lutheran Church in 1853, in order to serve parishioners south of the Menomonee River. These two churches, along with members of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, helped to seed a number of other Lutheran churches in the area.

The congregation's first building was on 4th Street between Wells and Kilbourn from 1847 through 1851. Its second building, from 1851 to 1878, was at 4th and Wells.[2]

The current building was designed by architect Frederick Velguth in German Romanesque/Gothic Revival style and built in 1878. It uses Cream City brick, a distinct light colored brick manufactured locally, along with sandstone details on the façade. The cruciform structure is 145 feet (44 m) long, 89 feet (27 m) wide, and 54 feet (16 m) tall. It features three towers, the tallest of which is a landmark 200-foot (61 m) spire. Notable of the church's interior is the historic Schuelke organ in the rear gallery, containing some 1,600 pipes. The total cost was $43,500, of which $3,500 was for the organ.[2]

German architecture of this type is typical of the historic structures found in and around downtown Milwaukee, including parts of the neighboring Pabst Brewery complex.

Construction of a new church office building and conference center began in September 2005, after the old office (the former parsonage) was razed the previous year. This addition to the grounds was completed in 2006.[2]

2018 fire[edit]

On May 15, 2018, the church caught on fire while construction work was going on, spurring a four-alarm response from the Milwaukee Fire Department and causing major damage to the structure, including the collapse of the entire roof and the shorter southern steeple.[3][4]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
  2. ^ a b c d "The History of Trinity Lutheran Church - Milwaukee". Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Huge fire breaks out at historic church in downtown Milwaukee". WITI. May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  4. ^ Jones, Meg; Johnson, Annysa (May 15, 2018). "Fire engulfs historic Milwaukee church, sending black smoke billowing over downtown". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved May 15, 2018.

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