A fire broke out at Trinity Evangelical Church in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, located at 1046 N. 9th Street, which is Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The church, built in 1878, was declared a historic Milwaukee landmark in 1967.
The blaze started sometime after 3 p.m., according to TMJ4.
Construction was being done on the church and @peterepublic stated on Twitter that shingles were currently being replaced.
Authorities have advised those in the area that Highland Avenue and State Street are shut down, as well as 9th and 18th streets. Those travelling in the area are warned to avoid the area and find an alternative route. It is unknown if there were any injuries due to the blaze at the time of publishing.
See the latest photos and videos of the devastation below:
A livestream at the scene of the church fire can be viewed above.
“Trinity Church downtown Milwaukee by the court house in flames,” Jeffrey D. Pruitt captioned the photo above. “Historic Landmark 1847. Praying for all the members.”
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Meg Jones cited “construction work being done at the site,” though an official cause is not known at this time.
The church fire could be seen from several areas of the city, as enormous flames and billows of smoke roared through the air.
The church’s website describes the history of the religious structure of worship, which reads:
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.