Friends of Christ Church Lutheran
Tax id (EIN)
Address3244 34th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
"If a building is honest, the architecture is religious." These are the words of renowned Finnish-American architect Eliel Saarinen, designer of the sanctuary of Christ Church Lutheran. Saarinen’s “honest” use of light, brick, stone, concrete and wood create a space of stunning simplicity, tranquility, and spirituality. Since its construction in 1949, it has been the focus of fascination by architects, photographers, students, and those seeking a place of worship, community, beauty and solace.
Christ Church Lutheran, located in the Longfellow neighborhood of southeast Minneapolis, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in January 2009. In 1977, the building received the American Institute of Architects’ 25-Year Award, crediting the influence of the building on church design in the second half of the 20th century. In the award, the AIA described the church as “ a living symbol of architectural integrity . . . a building with great dramatic effect and architectural impact, and yet which retains a very human scale and possesses a feeling of serenity and repose.”
It’s hard to believe that the Saarinens' modern Christ Church Lutheran building is over 70 years old. This National Landmark structure has been loved, respected, and maintained through the years by the congregation. The years are taking their toll, however. The congregation undertakes ongoing preservation work, funded in part by donations raised by the Friends of Christ Church Lutheran, established in 2008 to preserve this National Historic Landmark building designed by Finnish-American architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen. We support fundraising, education and public awareness efforts as a non-sectarian 501c3 non-profit organization.
In July, the Friends resumed public monthly tours again, as the church reopened to in-person worship. This was momentous as tours are part of our mission of public awareness of this singular church and its history, and a significant source of revenue for the Friends throughout the year.
The other critical aspect of our mission is supporting preservation of the church, and last year the Friends were pleased to contribute $10,000 toward a more preservation-sensitive replacement of the church’s boiler pipe within the existing chimney instead of on the church’s exterior.
The Friends continue a close relationship with Christ Church Lutheran’s Preservation Committee to support worthy projects. Our 2021 appeal is a study for refinishing the wood in the sanctuary. Eliel Saarinen’s use of wood has a long history in Finnish design and contributes greatly to the impact of this uplifting space. We hope you will join us in helping with the first step in its needed treatment.
Please consider a tax-deductible donation toward our $10,000 goal to ensure this National Historic Landmark continues for future generations of worshippers and visitors!