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First Lutheran Church

615 Grant St

Neighborhood: Downtown

Saturday: 10a-4p

Sunday: 1p-4p

Categories: Art On Display, Sacred Place

First Lutheran Church, formally established in 1837, traces its history in Pittsburgh to 1782. The current church structure was dedicated in 1888.

Designed by Andrew Peebles, the Gothic Revival sandstone structure complements and was erected contemporaneously with H.H. Richardson’s masterpiece, the Allegheny County Courthouse. For a short time, its spire and the courthouse tower anchored each end of Grant Street as symbols of church and state, before both were soon dwarfed by taller office buildings.

The church’s interior is of special artistic interest because of the unity of its artistic embellishments. The extraordinary pieces of ecclesiastical art (four above all: the mosaic of the Presentation above the altar, the tabernacle, the Tiffany Good Shepherd window, and the free-standing altar) are each of great individual interest, beauty, and power. These pieces, however function not just as separate works but are parts of a whole fabric of intentional design, with echoes of and allusions to each other that in their interaction give a remarkable unity and force to the individual works and to the building which houses them.

To commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation this October, there will also be a display featuring a 1582 Book of Concord and a 1765 Luther Bible, along with other items from our archives.

Please Note:  At the time of printing, First Lutheran Church was scheduled to undergo some preservation work to its stone exterior this fall. Please be aware, use caution when entering and exiting the building, and follow appropriate signage.”

YOUR EXPERIENCE: Guests will be able to step into the chamber of the Casavant organ to see some of the 2,000 pipes. Guests will also have the opportunity to ring the tower bells.

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Restrooms Available: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible Restrooms: Yes

Photography Restrictions: None