Update: Unfortunately, by September of 2018, the congregation could no longer afford to keep the church open, and the windows were being removed, and the interior was being vandalized. It was purchased at the City tax auction in mid 2019 and is now being renovated into a community arts center.
I like how churches in St. Louis don’t sit in the midst of blacktop (well, unfortunately some do), but rather are placed in the context of residential or commercial districts, built right up to the sidewalk.
The old Grace Evangelisch Lutheran Church on St. Louis Avenue is a perfect example; built in 1912, it reflects the primacy of the English school of Gothic Revival archtiecture prevalent at the turn of the Twentieth Century.
Gone are the more German Hallkirche of other older North Side churches, but instead the transepts protrude prominently from the crossing.
The windows, with their broad, diminished pointed arches also point to a new trend in St. Louis Gothic Revival. I find it interesting for a German-American church to abandon its national style, much as the Friedens Church did in Hyde Park, but I suppose keeping up with the latest trends in architecture was also important as well.
We couldn’t tell if this church is occupied or not; I know I had a student who told me she attended church here. I wonder if they’re meeting in the basement to save money. The rest of the church is in good shape, but I can only imagine the expense of maintaining it. Many North Side congregations, picking up old giant Roman Catholic or other denomination churches in the 1960’s and 70’s seem to be increasingly having trouble holding on to congregants, and these congregations are slowly dying out inside Grand. Grace Lutheran established a colony church in North County, and that church seems to have inherited the legacy of this one.