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Thread: Sad Day in Milwaukee WI - Trinity Lutheran Fire

  1. #1
    mf Mezzo-Forte Larrytow's Avatar
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    Sad Day in Milwaukee WI - Trinity Lutheran Fire

    Hi all,

    Today Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church caught on fire. It looks really bad from the news coverage. It is an 1878 building that is a national historical landmark in downtown Milwaukee. It is ( was) absolutely gorgeous, both outside and inside. I'm thinking it is most likely a total loss.

    If I am recalling correctly the organ is an original William Schulke ( Milwaukee organbuilder ), but I don't recall how many ranks. I'm sure that it is going to be beyond repair / salvaging.

    Plenty of news coverage on it, so here is just one link of many.

    http://fox6now.com/2018/05/15/huge-f...own-milwaukee/


    Please keep the congregation in your prayers.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 2 ), E-5AR ( X 2, one in parts, one not ), D80 ( in parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( in parts ), EL-25 ( X2, one chopped, one not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of other Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several various small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

  2. #2
    mf Mezzo-Forte Larrytow's Avatar
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    Some more details about the church and organ :

    "Trinity was founded by immigrants from Pomerania, Germany in 1847 and is the second oldest Missouri Synod Congregation in Wisconsin.

    Trinity has occupied several sites in the Milwaukee area. The first was on 4th Street between Wells and Kilbourn -- from 1847 through 1851. Trinity's next location was on 4th and Wells from 1851 through 1878. Trinity's current location, known as Terrace Garden, was constructed in 1878. The building was designed by Fredrick Velguth in Victorian Gothic style. The total cost (in 1878 dollars) was $43,500 ($40,000 for the church, $3,500 for the organ) which was paid in full by the completion of construction. The building is built out of cream city brick and rests on a limestone foundation. The Church is built in the shape of a cross, 145 feet long, 89 feet wide and 54 feet high. There are three towers with spires, the largest of which is the north tower at 200 feet tall. This tower is topped by a golden sphere with a cross measuring 14 1/2 feet tall. The bell tower has 3 real bells (keyed in "D", 'F#' and 'A') with a combined weight of 5263 lbs. These bells still ring today at the start of each service. All interior woodwork was hand carved from Wisconsin Oak and Ash. The pulpit, a creation of Gothic art in wood, is shaped like a communion chalice and topped by a shell-like canopy. Stained glass windows behind the alter feature the Gospel writers. Above the altar is a roundel of Jesus and the children. Paintings in the altar, created by Fredrich Wehle, present two different themes one beginning in Advent and one in Lent. The original church lighting consisted of two gas-list chandeliers - one with 72 burners and the other with 48. The current Belgium wrought iron chandeliers with electric lights were installed in 1942. The building was declared a Milwaukee landmark in 1967, a State Historical Landmark in 1979 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Please see the photos below.

    A new addition, connected to the church, was completed in 2006 which included offices, meeting rooms and an elevator. This addition was built on the site of the original parsonage which had been used as office and meeting space.

    During 1879, the William Schuelke Company of Milwaukee built and installed the church organ. The total cost for the organ was $3,500. The pipe enclosure is 30 feet high by 20 feet wide and consists of 34 registers and 1600 pipes. Erhalt Brielmeier built the organ case, which matches the altar. The organ was placed on the National Historic Register in 1979.

    Trinity operated a Lutheran School from 1869 to 1959.

    Trinity was the first Lutheran congregation in Milwaukee to integrate African Americans (1949).

    1959 marked the end of German language services at Trinity.

    Between 1855 and 1883 - Trinity helped establish three daughter congregations -- St. Stephen, Immanuel and Bethlehem."

    Text from church website, and photos from OnMilwaukee. com
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Larrytow; 05-16-2018 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Add credits
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 2 ), E-5AR ( X 2, one in parts, one not ), D80 ( in parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( in parts ), EL-25 ( X2, one chopped, one not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of other Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several various small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

  3. #3
    pp Pianissimo voet's Avatar
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    Here is the listing for the organ from the Organ Historical Society Data Base:

    https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganD...p?OrganID=4977

    What a grand specification for a 2 manual organ. What a shame that it may be lost.

  4. #4
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voet View Post
    What a grand specification for a 2 manual organ. What a shame that it may be lost.
    If there is one saving grace, it looks like the roof may have vented most of the heat before melting (m)any of the pipes or casework? One can only hope.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  5. #5
    mf Mezzo-Forte Larrytow's Avatar
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    The latest news reports tonight are saying that contractors were working on the roof, and something on the scaffolding got hot, and "may" have started the fire. They are also saying that the entire building "may" have to be condemned because it is not "likely" to be structurally sound anymore.

    I sure would not like to be that contractor ! Or that employee !

    Very sad indeed if it is totaled.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 2 ), E-5AR ( X 2, one in parts, one not ), D80 ( in parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( in parts ), EL-25 ( X2, one chopped, one not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of other Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several various small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

  6. #6
    mf Mezzo-Forte Larrytow's Avatar
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    A little more info from JSonline. com :

    "The blaze that destroyed Milwaukee's historic Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church may have been started by heating tools that had been placed on adjacent scaffolding and ignited the roof, a Milwaukee Fire Department official said Wednesday.

    Milwaukee Deputy Fire Chief Dave Votsis said that was the working theory. But Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing stressed at a news conference later that the investigation is ongoing.

    "We know there were roofers here, and they had equipment. And we know it started in the roof," Rohlfing said. Investigators have yet to conclusively link the fire to the roof work, he said.

    Fire officials on Wednesday estimated damage to the structure at $13 million, and an additional $4 million in damage to its contents.

    Asked if the building, which has anchored the southeast corner of West Highland Avenue and North 9th Street for more than a century, is a total loss, church and fire officials equivocated Wednesday. A condemnation case was filed Wednesday with the city, suggesting it may have to be razed. "

    Here is the link to the whole article :

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/...rch/615450002/

    There is a video of Dr John Behnke playing the organ in the article. And tons of ads too, but that is the way it goes these days.

    This church was used as a place for many special occasion services for southeastern WI LCMS folks over the years, and I have been to many in it. Kinda depressing that it is gone.

    Yes, buildings and organs can be replaced, but any replacement will never have the quality of craftsmanship that this place had. I doubt that the wood of the same grade as all the carvings were made from can even be obtained any more. Not to mention that there are not many artisans who do that sort of work. A big chunk of history just gone up in smoke.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 2 ), E-5AR ( X 2, one in parts, one not ), D80 ( in parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( in parts ), EL-25 ( X2, one chopped, one not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of other Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several various small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

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