Designed by Eliel Saarinen, with a later addition by his son, Eero, Christ Church Lutheran is a masterpiece of mid-century modern architecture. In 1977, the building was honored with the American Institute of Architects’ 25-Year Award, given to just one project nationwide each year, in recognition of its singular design excellence and influence on church design across the nation and the world.
In 2007, the church discovered severe deterioration in the tower, including spalled and eroded brick, deteriorated mortar joints, and exposed and corroded metal. MacDonald & Mack was hired to examine the exterior envelope of the building and assess masonry conditions, window conditions, water infiltration and structural issues on the tower, to understand both the existing conditions and their underlying causes. We conducted a thorough examination of the affected areas and developed a plan for restoration and long-term solutions to avoid ongoing problems. Because of the landmark status of the church, the project required an especially meticulous approach.
In 2012, the congregation hired MacDonald & Mack to complete a full Historic Structure Report, investigating the conditions and developmental history of the entire structure, and providing the congregation with recommendations and priorities for ongoing upkeep and future restoration and preservation work.
MacDonald & Mack has continued to work on projects at the church, based on our recommendations in the HSR, including re-roofing, accessibility upgrades, and courtyard modifications.
Christ Church Lutheran
Structural Engineer: Mattson Macdonald Young
Contractor: Macpherson Towne Company
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer for HSR project: Dunham