Trinity School Then and Now

Trinity Lutheran School 05-20-1967The wooden treads on these steps at Trinity Lutheran School had been hollowed out by generations of children, me included, going and down them. There was something special about those old dark steps, kept shiny by diligent janitors.

In case you were wondering, no, we didn’t have a super-strict dress code. These kids were probably on their way to or from Sunday School.

Wood replaced by steel

Trinity Lutheran School 03-14-2010I’m glad to see the building is still there, but the wooden stairwells have been replaced by modern construction materials. I suppose they are easier to maintain and are a lot safer in case of a fire, but I bet they don’t have those creaks and squeaks I remember.

Playground was gravel

Trinity Lutheran School 03-14-2010When I was in the lower grades, this playground was gravel. In fact, when I was in the lower grades, I don’t think the the two-story classroom building on the left had been built yet.

The tall building in the middle housed classrooms and administrative offices. The reddish brick building to the right was the gym / auditorium, with the cafeteria in the basement.

George Alt House being wrecked

Demolition of Trinity Hall, AKA the George Alt House, 12-23-1967I wrote about the history of the George Alt House, also known as Trinity Hall, last year. I could understand tearing the building down because of maintenance issues and a need for more space, but I was disappointed that the fine woodwork and windows weren’t salvaged.

Here are photos of the wrecking ball at work.

Old Trinity’s Altar

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 142When we heard Trinity Lutheran Church was going to be torn down just shy of its 100th birthday, Brother Mark and I did our best to document the building.

Here are photos of what I think was the most impressive part of the church: the chancel and altar with its statue of Jesus. I’ll run more pictures later.

Money came with strings

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 158It seems an odd coincidence that the old building was discovered to be structurally unsound not long after a large donation was made to the church that could only be used to build a new structure.

Missourian photographer Fred Lynch has a series of photos showing the steeple being pulled down that makes the place look pretty sturdy to me.

It’s not my church

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 149

I was baptized in that church, confirmed in that church, suffered through a multitude of Christmas pageants in that church, and my father’s casket stood in the shadow of that altar.

I made a promise to myself never to set foot in the new building. I have no respect for an organization that allows nearly 100 years of memories to be turned into brick dust. It is no longer my church.

Photos of the church bell

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 157I ran a post about the church’s bell in 2011. I read somewhere that the bell had been moved to the new church.

View from the bell tower

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 144Here are photos taken from the bell tower in 1978.

1954 pledge drive

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 150I copied a 1954 pledge drive booklet that included an extraordinary photo of the congregation. It’s amazing how many faces I can still pick out of it (names, however, are another matter).

Abraham story has him worried

Trinity Lutheran Church Mark - Matt 08-1978 6Brother Mark is holding Son Matt up for a closer look. He doesn’t look too comfortable. I think he may have heard that story about God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son on an altar and he’s not sure if the story had a good ending.


I learned several things from my readers here and on Facebook:

  • It wasn’t just a rumor that the donation was earmarked for a new building. A relative of the donors confirmed it.
  • Jesus wasn’t welcome in the new church: he has been exiled to Hanover School. I’ll swing by to see him on my trip back to Cape in October.

Trinity Lutheran School Cafeteria

Trinity Lutheran School cafeteria 02-13-1967I could have sworn The Missourian ran school menus, but I poked around for several weeks of old papers and couldn’t find them. I don’t have a lot of memories of the Trinity Lutheran School cafeteria. I managed to convince my parents to let me slip off the school grounds most days to eat at Wayne’s Grill.

The black and white photos were taken February 13, 1967.

Keep Sloppy Joes away from me

Trinity Lutheran School cafeteria 03-14-2010I had a weakness for Sloppy Joes, described in Wikipedia as “an American dish of ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.”

I was so fond of them, in fact, I kind overdid it one day just before going out to the playground. The resulting spewage spoiled the sandwich for me forever. It’s not quite as bad as my Dr. Herbert wooden stick phobia, but it ranks a close second.

This is what the cafeteria area looked like in 2010.

Trinity Lutheran School cafeteria photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

View from Trinity Bell Tower

Just before it was torn down, Brother Mark and I crawled all over the Trinity Lutheran Church documenting it. I posted photos of the bell earlier. Today we’re focusing on the view FROM the bell tower. Those louvered windows had a fairly big space to look through, even if the mesh screening was a bit distracting with some lens choices. Click on the photos to make them larger.

View to the northeast

The building towering over everything else is the KFVS-TV building. To its left you can see the H & H Building and the Marquette Hotel. The bright white object rising above the trees at the top right is the Common Pleas Courthouse. You can barely make out the Walther’s sign on the left side of the frame. It has become the Discovery Playhouse. Across the street was a the building that would later sport a bright blue mural with the words, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” That building was torn down last winter.

View to the north

Switching to a slightly longer lens let me throw the screening out of focus (mostly), but it didn’t cover as much area. The white building to the right was Brinkopf-Howell Funeral home, now Annie Laurie’s Antiques. Shivelbine’s Music would be the building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Frederick. Star Service Station was on the northwest corner. I’d sure like some of that 36-cent gas today.

View to the west

The tall structure at the top right is the telephone company’s microwave tower. In the days before fiber optic cable, much of the country’s long distance traffic was handled by radio signals beamed from tower to tower. Southeast Missouri State University’s Academic Hall’s dome barely clears the treetops near the top right.

View to the south

This is looking south from the intersection of Themis and Frederick. The small brick building on the southwest corner was known as “The Mouse House.” Cape-Kil is directly south of it.

 Trinity Lutheran Church neighborhood in 2011

Here is an aerial photo I shot of the neighborhood April 17, 2011.