Friday, May 15, 2009

St. John's, Toledo - as it was 100 years ago

From the book "Fiftieth Anniversary of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Toledo, Ohio, 1864-1904."

And it still looks so much the same, even though the surrounding areas have seen profound changes ... that spire, along with the one of SS. Peter & Paul on the next block, now cozy up to I-75; together one of Toledo's memorable skyline landmarks. The finial atop the spire has been replaced with a cross.

The church underwent a major renovation at around the time of their 75th anniversary. I don't know at what point the canopy over the pulpit was removed and the murals on the ceiling sadly covered over ... but the quatrefoil windows were replaced with the drop-dead gorgeous imported German stained-glass windows that the church boasts to this day; as well as the wonderful angel lectern, and an altar that is larger than the one in this photo.

The parish house still stands and is used for the church offices (although the house to the left is long gone. That's part of the parking lot now).

This school building also still stands, with the doorway facing directly toward the apse of the church. However, it no longer looks like this. It hasn't been used as a school since the 1920's. Most of the windows are bricked up or covered with heavy steel shades; the doors are solid grey steel. I didn't know at the time whether or not they still used the building, but as it turns out, they very much DO use it as a fellowship hall. There's a completely furnished modern kitchen in there. The upstairs is now used for storage, but the frames that once held blackboards are still on the walls! The shades are to protect the windows (and one look at the freight door on the side of the building tells you why. It's riddled with bullet holes. Geez...)

Thanks to Kevin Hammer for the photos.

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