MidTexMod Tour of St Martin Evangelical Lutheran Church

St Martin Evangelical Lutheran Church, Austin

I am excited to participate in an upcoming tour of St Martin Evangelical Lutheran Church with MidTexMod, the local docomomo_us chapter. Despite its relative obscurity in architectural history literature, it is among the most significant churches of its time with local, national, and international confluences and volumes to reveal about both individual, denominational, and universal aspects of church architecture. My lecture will touch on some of the themes from the article I wrote for docomomo as well as examining how it fits into its larger contemporary scenes in the Lutheran church and in modern architecture (including some photos from my trip to St Dominic in New Orleans, built at the same time with stained glass by the same artist). Dennis Cordes, congregant and Preservation Architect, will address some of the preservation challenges the building presents and give insight into the building's continued use. The docent-led tour will give us a chance to dig into some of the particular details of the architecture.

Here are the full event details from MidTexMod:

St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church: Tour and Lecture Date: Saturday, May 16 Time: 2-4pm Location: 606 W 15th St, Austin, TX 78701 Cost: $5 Suggested Donation

Join us to learn about one of Austin’s most striking Modern examples of ecclesiastic architecture – St. Martin's Lutheran Church. Completed in 1960, the church was designed by Robert Mather of Jessen Jessen Millhouse and Greeven as a Modern abstraction of the Christian basilica. The building features an arresting Modern chapel with a soaring vaulted nave and dramatic stained glass, a remarkably intact sanctuary, and sculpture by Charles Umlauf, as well as a more utilitarian education wing including classrooms, kitchens, and a basketball court.

Dedication Booklet Cover
Dedication Booklet Cover

Mid Tex Mod will be hosting a tour of the church with a lecture on the building's design, significance, and art by MTM member Jason John Paul Haskins, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C. Jason is a church-building researcher and design consultant who writes about liturgy, architecture and history on the blog Locus Iste. He holds a B.S. in Architectural Studies and an M.Arch from University of Texas with additional course work at Columbia University and a research emphasis on the architecture of the 19-20th century liturgical movements. Jason’s lecture will be followed by a presentation on the building’s preservation by Dennis Cordes, congregant and Preservation Architect (retired from the Texas Historical Commission and Texas Parks & Wildlife).

Mid Tex Mod is excited by the opportunity to highlight this remarkable Modern resource. Our tour will be in conjunction with Preservation Month, established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to highlight historic preservation across the country.

Please email midtexasmod@gmail.com to RSVP by May 14. Tickets are not required, but we will be accepting donations at the door (with a $5 suggested donation).