Building Profile

First Lutheran Church

615 Grant St

Saturday: 10am-4pm
Sunday: 1pm-4pm

Neighborhood: Downtown

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Restrooms Available: Yes

AIA

Design Matters

The First Lutheran Church on Grant Street, designed by Andrew Peebles, was built in 1888 in a Gothic Revival style and boasts a Tiffany stained-glass window. The Scottish-born architect immigrated first to Quebec and then worked in Pittsburgh from 1866-1896.

Your Experience:  

Guests will be able to step into the chamber of the Casavant organ to see some of the 2,000 pipes. The tower bells will also be demonstrated. In conjunction with the restoration of the church exterior, photos depicting construction in the neighborhood over the past 130 years will be on display on the Mezzanine in the Parish House.”

Building Description:

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.


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