Trinity Lutheran Church Sheds Scaffolding, Shows Off $1.2 Million Restoration

“After 17 long years,” the church proclaimed, “We have FINALLY taken down our scaffolding.”

For basically a generation, that scaffolding had shrouded the crumbling façade of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan. Cantilever Scaffolding

Trinity Lutheran Church Sheds Scaffolding, Shows Off $1.2 Million Restoration

The historic church, on West 100th street just off Amsterdam Avenue, directly across from the 24th police precinct, was designed by the well known Queens architect, George W. Conable in Gothic Revival-style. It was completed in 1908 and became the home of a congregation founded in an Upper West Side storefront in 1888 as the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, serving German immigrants.

The congregation is now bilingual in English and Spanish (rather than German) although the pastor, Heidi Neumark, traces her own roots to German Jews who converted to evade the Holocaust.

Nearly demolished in the 1950’s by a Robert Moses urban renewal project, the church survived but slowly deteriorated. The congregation launched a restoration two years ago with support from the New York Landmarks Conservancy and other donors. The results were celebrated at a gathering at the church the other day.

Peg Breen, president of the Landmark’s Conservancy said the interior of the Church retains many of its original design features, including plasterwork, elaborate scagliola columns, pews, woodwork, and moldings. Major structural repairs were made to the tower, the façade was restored and the monumental tracery window at the organ loft at the front façade was replaced.

In addition to its bilingual congregation, the church reaches about 2,000 non-members annually through initiatives such as the Trinity Place Shelter for homeless LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.

“Previous generations entrusted us with this gift of space. I am grateful and thrilled at the generosity that has allowed us to treat this building with love and respect- especially so we can be here for and with those being pushed to the margins of our city,” said Church Council member Ginger Choy.

Trinity Lutheran Church Sheds Scaffolding, Shows Off $1.2 Million Restoration

Scaffolding “The cost for repairs and renovation was $1.2M, over half of which was raised from dedicated individuals and family donors in the congregation and community. A generous grant from Sacred Sites Program of New York Landmark conservancy along with funding made possible from grants from the city and a long-term, low interest loan made the project a success.”