Friends of Christ Church Lutheran

A nonprofit organization

$2,300 raised by 9 donors

33% complete

$7,000 Goal

"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.

This year, the Friends welcomed visitors from as far away as Mexico and Cleveland, and as close as the neighborhood during the congregation's Longfellow Blossom Festival. This is part of the Friends' mission of education and public awareness about this influential modern worship space.  

The other critical aspect of our mission is supporting preservation of the church, and last year, thanks to your generous donations to the Friends 2021 Appeal, Christ Church raised nearly $9,000 and paid for a study this year, conducted by Fresh Air Finishers, to analyze the numerous wood objects and surfaces that contribute to the sanctuary design.

The Friends continue a close relationship with Christ Church Lutheran’s Preservation Committee to support worthy projects. Our 2022 Appeal is supporting the restoration of the pulpit as a pilot project in 2023 at the cost estimate of $7,000. 

We hope you will join us in supporting these initial preservation efforts.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation toward our $7,000 goal to ensure this National Historic Landmark continues for future generations of worshippers and visitors!




Organization Data


Organization name

Friends of Christ Church Lutheran

Tax id (EIN)



3244 34th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406