Milwaukee’s history is rich, and much of that richness is shown throughout the dozens of sacred spaces throughout our city. The architecture is absolutely stunning, and the history of how they came to be is a story to behold. These 10 Milwaukee churches are sure to leave you speechless.
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1. Basilica of St. Josaphat
The Basilica holds a lot of rich history in Milwaukee. Polish immigrants came here and settled in Milwaukee's south side. They then built this Polish-Cathedral style of church after St. Peter's Basilica of Rome, and still worship the Catholic faith today. This beautiful sanctuary has become a Milwaukee landmark.
Basilica of St. Josaphat is located at 2333 S 6th St., Milwaukee.
2. Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
Frank Lloyd Wright is a famous architect, and his work is often seen throughout Milwaukee. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is no exception. This Greek Orthodox church was one of Wright's last works, and construction wasn't finished until 1961, after his death. The church is a historic landmark in the town of Wauwatosa.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is located at 9440 W Congress St., Wauwatosa.
3. Calvary Presbyterian Church
Also known in the city as "The Big Red Church," this breathtaking Victorian gothic style church is hard to miss in the downtown area of Milwaukee. The brick was originally cream-colored, but this fully-operating church was painted red to stand out. This is one of Milwaukee's oldest and best preserved churches that is still in use today.
Calvary Presbyterian Church is located at 628 N 10th St., Milwaukee.
4. Tripoli Shrine Center
Opening in 1928, this was Wisconsin's first temple and housed 13,000 Shriners in the area. Though the iconic temple is no longer a religious building, this formerly sacred space now holds banquets and events.
Tripoli Shrine Center is located at 3000 W Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.
5. Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Grace Lutheran Church is hard to miss, located downtown near MSOE's campus. The beautiful building with large stained-glass windows has had a history of struggling to stay afloat, such is the norm for downtown churches. Since its beginning in 1849, Grace has mostly served the German community. As the community moved farther west, the church began to struggle, but has been persevered and is still an operating church today!
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church is located at 1209 N Broadway, Milwaukee.
6. Immanuel Presbyterian Church
This historic High Victorian Gothic style church is absolutely stunning. It was deemed a Milwaukee landmark in 1969, and still stands tall today, fully operating as a house of faith to the public.
Immanuel Presbyterian Church 1100 N Astor St., Milwaukee.
7. Saint John Evangelical-Lutheran Church
This is arguably one of Milwaukee's most well-known buildings; it's absolutely stunning. The Gothic Revival-styled architecture stands out above the rest. The church was founded by German immigrants in 1889, and is said to be one of the greatest examples of German Lutheran church architecture in the country.
Saint John Evangelical-Lutheran Church is located at 804 W Vliet St., Milwaukee.
8. St. Joan of Arc Chapel
St. Joan of Arc Chapel is the oldest building in Milwaukee. The chapel was originally built in France, and is said to be the oldest structure that still operates as intended from the beginning.
St. Joan of Arc Chapel is located on Marquette University's campus at 1250 W Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.
9. St. Paul's Episcopal Church
St. Paul's is the oldest Episcopal parish in Milwaukee, and the most influential in the state. This Romanesque-style building was built in 1884 using the red-hued Lake Superior sandstone. The downtown landmark is home to the largest collection of Tiffany stained glass windows in the state, and has the largest windows the New York company has ever made.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church is located at 914 E Knapp St., Milwaukee.
10. Church of the Gesu
Gesu Church is a Jesuit parish in downtown Milwaukee. The French Gothic building is one of Milwaukee's most beautiful pieces of architecture. The church originally served English-speaking Irish-Catholics in Tory Hill, but soon after created the church that is Gesu Church today. Gesu Church holds daily masses and houses over 2,500 worshippers on the weekends.
Church of the Gesu is located at 1145 W Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.
What historic church building is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below.