Rerun: Old Trinity Church

Old Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 bellI grew up in the old Trinity Lutheran Church. I was baptized and confirmed there; was cast in way too many Christmas pageants, counted bugs on the ceiling when I was bored, and saw Dad’s casket in the front of the altar. Today’s post is a collection of stories I’ve done on the old Trinity.

When I heard that the building was being torn down just short of its 100th anniversary because it was “structurally deficient,” Brother Mark and I tried to document as much of it as possible. I put quotes around “structurally deficient” because the discovery was made just about the time a sizable donation came in that stipulated that it could only be used to build a new church.

Here’s what it looked like in the bell tower. Follow the links to see the whole story and to read the many comments.

1954 pledge drive

Trinity Lutheran Church CongregationThe church conducted a $225,000 pledge drive in 1954. This picture was used in a brochure promoting the drive. The post logged two dozen comments, so I wasn’t the only one picking out faces.

New Trinity at dusk

Trinity Lutheran Church steeple at sunset 11-16-2011I was walking back to my car when I saw the new federal building and the new Trinity Lutheran church in the fading sunlight.

That’s as close as I’m ever going to get to the building. MY church was torn down and many of the things that made it special were discarded, so I have no reason to go into the new Trinity.

And, yes, I know that church is more than bricks and stained glass. That’s why you rarely see me in one.

From the tower

View from Trinity Lutheran Church bell tower 08-1978When Mark and I shot the bell tower, I also took pictures out the windows in all four directions. The tall white building off in the distance is the KFVS tower.

There’s an aerial of the neighborhood in this post, too.

Sanctuary and altar

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 142The most striking part of the church was the sanctuary with its imposing altar. Jesus was hauntingly realistic.

Unfortunately, He wasn’t welcome in the new church and has, reportedly, bounced around a bit, becoming damaged in the process. I heard that He might be out at the old Hanover School.

The balcony

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 135Our family usually headed to the balcony. I loved its majestic sweep. On the wall behind the organ was printed Psalms 26:8 –  “Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house and the place where Thine honor dwelleth.”

If you follow the link, you can see the inscription in the background of a photo of workers dismantling the pews and lowering them to the ground floor.

One of my readers reported the words were still visible when a bulldozer strained to pull the building down.

Lutheran Church mural

Lutheran mural on 501 Broadway 03-22-2010The church owned a property at the corner of Broadway and Middle with a huge blue mural painted on it: “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” There’s a plaque in the corner that is a who’s-who list of well-known Trinity donors who paid for the sign.

The building had deteriorated to the point where it had to be razed in 2011. I toured the 501 Broadway property with David Renshaw, one of the most introspective demolition men I’ve ever met.

Nothing left but bricks

Demolition of building at 501 Broadway 12-15-2011When David was through, there was nothing left but debris that was quickly hauled away. A parking lot is there today.

I was given a piece of the blue cement block as a souvenir.

While I’m taking it easy

Buy From Amazon.com to Support Ken SteinhoffWhile I’m taking it easy posting reruns of earlier stories you may have missed, I have to remind you to click on my Amazon link here and at the top of the page. Things purchased through that click make me a few pennies and won’t cost you anything extra.

That helps keep the lights on

I also want to thank those folks who have used the yellow Donate button at the top left of the page. I appreciate your support and wish you and yours a Happy New Year.

Broadway and Sprigg

Missourian Librarian Sharon Sanders runs an interesting blog on Thursdays called “From the Morgue.” Back in the less PC Good Old Days, that what we called the repository of yellowing clips carefully snipped out by the custodian of the newspaper’s history. Folks like Sharon and her predecessor, Judy Crow, really DO know where the bodies are buried and can find the skeletons in closets going back generations. You do NOT want to get on the wrong side of the newspaper librarian. They used to possess both sharp tongues and sharp scissors.

I’m not sure what Digital Sharon could do to a reporter who didn’t bring back a much-handled envelope of old clips, but I bet it wouldn’t be pretty. On one of our first meetings, I started to raise my camera to take her picture. I don’t normally take no for an answer – I’ve shot Popes and Presidents, rioters and guys with guns – but I put my camera down when she shook her head. I knew right away that she wasn’t somebody to mess with.

I felt fortunate to escape with my life and a photo of a stack of aging clips.

Broadway and Sprigg

Her blog Thursday said one of her most-requested photos is of the building that used to be at the northeast corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street. It’s a vacant lot next to the Last Call Bar today. She’s done all the historical heavy lifting about that block, so it’s worth heading over there.

I don’t have any photos going back that far, but I do have the area today.

This aerial from November 2010 shows a number of landmarks. The red building is the Last Call she mentions. The white building diagonally across the street is the infamous 633 – 635 – 637 Broadway trio of buildings that have been a source of controversy for a long time. One building was razed and the other two are being renovated. In the center of the picture is Trinity Lutheran Church. The brick building to its left is Shivelbines Music and the white building across the street is Annie Laurie’s Antiques.

Last Call

It’s hard to miss the Last Call if you’re eastbound on Broadway. Its red colors are set off by a blue sky.

Blue-sided building is gone

The blue-sided building with the iconic mural at the top center of the aerial and the ones next to it were torn down at the end of 2011. Walther’s Furniture, across the street, has turned into Discovery Playhouse.

Like a gap in a first-grader’s grin

The northwest corner of Broadway and Sprigg has another empty spot. That’s where the old Chris Cross Cafe used to be. This view is south on Sprigg toward Broadway somewhere around 1966 or 1967. The three-story building on the south side of Broadway was the Cape Hotel. It burned and the spot is occupied by a Subway today.