Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
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Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Complex
1335-45Gratiot, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Trinity Lutheran Church-Local
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION
Current Use RELIGION
Style Modern Movement
Architect/Builder Bernard C. Wetzel
William E. N. Hunter
Narrative Description The Trinity Lutheran Church Complex in Detroit is an imposing Neo-Gothic church building fashioned of vari-colored granite and Indiana limestone, with an attached, brick, Tudor-style parish house, sited on a cramped, triangular plot edge of downtown Detroit. A modern rendition of English sixteenth-century Gothic, the church was designed by William Edgerton N. Hunter of Detroit and completed in 1931. The interior of the church contains much sculpture executed in limestone, including a frieze atop the clerestory, and elaborate woodwork such as an intricately carved screen depicting scenes from the Bible.
Statement of Significance The Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is historically significant as the home of one of Detroit's oldest German Lutheran congregations and as the "mother" church of Missouri-Synod Lutheranism in the city. The church also has architectural importance as a notable Neo-Gothic church designed by William Edgerton N. Hunter (1858 to 1947), a Detroit architect who specialized in the design of religious buildings between 1910 and 1939. Trinity is also notable for the finely carved and painted decoration and stained glass with which it is embellished.
Marker Name Trinity Lutheran Church
Marker Text TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH Trinity Lutheran Church, one of the oldest of this denomination in Detroit, was founded in 1850. The Reverend Gottlieb Schaller conducted the early worship services, which were held in the former Mariners Church on Larned Street. In 1866 the congregation built a brick church on this site. After over sixty years of service, it was razed in 1929. The present Neo-Gothic-style church, designed by W. E. N. Hunter, was a gift of Charles Gauss. It was dedicated in 1931. Trinity Lutheran helped to establish many daughter congregations in Detroit. The church also established the Lutheran Institute for the Deaf, the Lutheran cemetery, and together with other congregations, the Detroit Lutheran High School, Valparaiso University of Indiana and the Lutheran radio hour.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1927
Registry Type(s) 05/25/1982 Marker erected
02/10/1983 National Register listed
04/24/1981 State Register listed
Site ID# P4489