Downtown churches fear approach of new Vikings stadium

  • Article by: ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 2, 2013 - 11:59 PM

Historic churches near the Vikings' new digs weigh their options as deadline for the stadium's design nears.

hide

Members of Hope Community Church in downtown Minneapolis worshiping this past Sunday. Hope is one of four churches in the shadow of the Metrodome.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Steepled brick churches built in the 19th century stand practically within field goal range of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium soon to rise in downtown Minneapolis.

The nearly billion-dollar project has the churches considering what their own options might be. At least one church is looking at potential redevelopment.

Three churches located within a few blocks of the existing stadium are some of the earliest houses of worship in the Twin Cities, but they do not have historic designations. That means they could be demolished to make room for parking, residential or other development related to the stadium.

Minneapolis officials and preservationists say any such move would face an uphill battle.

"When you ... see those buildings, it's like stumbling upon a gem," said Elizabeth Gales, president of Preserve Minneapolis. "These churches ... tell an important part of the history of Minneapolis. I think it is worth looking at that area and those properties, and asking are there things here that are historic that we should want to preserve for our future?"

So far no developers have approached the city about acquiring and developing church property near the stadium site, said Chuck Lutz, the city's development chief.

But First Covenant Church, at 810 S. 7th St., is considering tearing down a 1950s-era addition to make room for parking or other development, according to city planners.

"We've had some preliminary conversations with the Covenant church people," said Lutz. "They're developing some plans for their property, which may include some parking that could be stadium-related. Maybe looking at doing some housing over there."

First Covenant's lead pastor, Dan Collison, said in an e-mail that the church "is currently in an array of conversations with and related to the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority and the stadium project. There is very little that I am able to publicly talk about at this time, however."

The other churches also realize change is coming, though they don't foresee leaving their downtown homes anytime soon.

A design for the stadium is due in March; the Vikings hope to break ground in October and open in time for the 2016 NFL season.

Churches look to future

Built in 1887, First Covenant Church was designed by one of the leading architects of the day, Warren Hayes. It's also one of the largest sanctuaries in the city, seating about 2,500 people, Gales said.

Like other old churches near the Metrodome, First Covenant was built to serve the area's burgeoning Swedish immigrant population. As demographics changed and more people left the area, church membership declined as well.

Built in 1883, Augustana Lutheran Church once claimed more than 1,000 members. That number had dwindled to about 75 last year when the congregation sold its building on 11th Avenue S. to its next-door neighbor, Hope Community Church.

Hope's building, dating to 1895, was overflowing with its congregation of nearly 1,400. When Augustana approached Hope about selling its property, Hope seized the opportunity and bought it below market value, said Steve Treichler, senior pastor at Hope.

"We will use both buildings on Sunday mornings and eventually both sanctuary spaces on Sunday mornings," Treichler said. "Eventually, our hope and aim is to build a building in between the buildings and that would pull it all together."

Treichler says city planners have indicated they want churches like Hope to remain in the neighborhood. "We're planning for the future to stay here," he said. "But things could change. Things change quickly. Our plans are to stay."

Same goes for Bethlehem Baptist Church, 720 13th Av. S., which dates to the late 1800s, though its current sanctuary building was built around the 1990s.

Sam Crabtree, executive pastor at the church, doesn't foresee the church selling or vacating its property anytime soon. Like other churches near the stadium site, Bethlehem works to help immigrant communities and needy residents in the neighborhood.

"We just think [it would] be harder for us to pursue our mission, which is to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ, if we're farther from the 'all peoples,'" Crabtree said.

The case for history

Historic designation would make it less likely that the old churches would be demolished or significantly altered.

But Beth Elliott, a downtown city planner, said that just because churches are not designated historic "doesn't mean it wouldn't be tough to tear down."

"We would like to see development, but I would say in most cases it's going to be on the surface parking lots near the transit stations," Elliott said. "So there's never been an assumption that particularly the churches or other significant buildings should be torn down. It's more about in-filling the areas in between."

Gales, the preservationist, said the churches have the potential to be listed as historic.

"Local designation is where we feel the teeth are for protection because you can't just demolish a historic resource," she said. "You have to prove that there is no other alternative when it's locally designated."

For now, Gales said, "We're just asking the city and developers to be a little bit more thoughtful before the storm ahead ... really think about what these properties bring to the fabric of the city -- whether it's cultural and social and religious."

Rose French • 612-673-4352

  • related content

  • Graphic: Downtown churches brace for Metrodome redevelopment

    Friday February 1, 2013

    Four churches, three built in the 1800s, located near the Metrodome are among some of...

  • Parishioners of Hope Community Church leaving the sanctuary following services this past Sunday. The congregation of nearly 1,400 members required additional space, so the church bought property from next-door neighbor Augustana Lutheran Church.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Detroit 6:00 PM
Washington
Atlanta 6:30 PM
Miami
Toronto 6:30 PM
New York
Memphis 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Brooklyn 7:30 PM
Dallas
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Utah
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Buffalo 2 1st Prd 12:42
Florida 0
Detroit 1 1st Prd 12:38
Nashville 0
Carolina 4:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 4:00 PM
Columbus
Arizona 4:30 PM
Boston
Toronto 6:00 PM
Montreal
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Colorado
St. Louis 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Ottawa 9:00 PM
San Jose
Kennesaw St 75 FINAL
Lipscomb 94
Navy 57 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 47
Bucknell 71 FINAL
American Univ 69
NC State 63 FINAL
Boston College 79
East Carolina 71 FINAL
UCF 66
Georgia Tech 63 FINAL
Clemson 70
Lehigh 55 FINAL
Colgate 61
Louisville 81 FINAL
Florida State 59
Missouri 44 FINAL
Georgia 68
Army 64 FINAL
Lafayette 74
Michigan 56 FINAL
Maryland 66
Georgetown 70 FINAL
St Johns 81
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
La Salle 56
Western Carolina 67 FINAL
Citadel 54
Nebraska Omaha 73 1st OT 0:12
IUPUI 73
Maine 56 FINAL
New Hampshire 65
Samford 80 FINAL
Va Military 69
Presbyterian 53 FINAL
Winthrop 80
Utah State 41 2nd Half 12:56
Air Force 29
Vermont 48 2nd Half 15:57
Albany 41
UMBC 30 2nd Half 17:56
Binghamton 33
Indiana State 33 2nd Half 13:57
Bradley 29
Butler 36 2nd Half 13:06
DePaul 38
Illinois State 35 2nd Half 16:36
Evansville 32
Wright State 27 2nd Half 13:58
Ill-Chicago 32
Fla Gulf Coast 33 2nd Half 14:26
Jacksonville 45
Ole Miss 29 2nd Half 15:24
LSU 31
North Carolina 36 2nd Half 18:46
Miami-Florida 30
Wagner 37 2nd Half 14:31
Mount St Marys 45
TCU 44 2nd Half 14:52
Oklahoma 40
Delaware 40 2nd Half 13:38
Towson 39
Cincinnati 43 2nd Half 12:34
Tulane 25
Dayton 41 2nd Half 13:35
VA Commonwealth 36
Northern Iowa 33 2nd Half 15:23
Wichita State 51
Drexel 48 2nd Half 12:13
William & Mary 33
Oakland 40 2nd Half 15:31
Green Bay 53
Villanova 44 2nd Half 14:53
Xavier 48
Campbell 24 2nd Half 15:52
Longwood 41
Sarah Lawrence 23 1st Half 3:29
NJIT 29
Middle Tennessee 7 1st Half 15:50
UAB 6
UNC-Asheville 7 1st Half 15:43
Liberty 7
Southern Utah 9 1st Half 13:26
North Dakota 6
Utah Valley U 2:05 PM
Chicago State
ULM 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Bowling Green 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Long Island 2:30 PM
Sacred Heart
West Virginia 3:00 PM
Baylor
Holy Cross 3:00 PM
Boston Univ
MD-Eastern Shore 3:00 PM
Delaware State
Wofford 3:00 PM
Furman
Montana State 3:00 PM
Idaho
Hofstra 3:00 PM
James Madison
Iowa State 3:00 PM
Kansas State
Arkansas 3:00 PM
Kentucky
Missouri State 3:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Fordham 3:00 PM
Massachusetts
Nicholls 3:00 PM
McNeese State
East Tenn St 3:00 PM
Mercer
Coppin State 3:00 PM
Morgan State
San Diego 3:00 PM
Portland
Gardner-Webb 3:00 PM
Radford
St Francis-PA 3:00 PM
Robert Morris
Duquesne 3:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Creighton 3:00 PM
Seton Hall
Oklahoma State 3:00 PM
Texas Tech
Alabama 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Virginia Tech 3:00 PM
Virginia
Bethune-Cookman 3:00 PM
NC Central
St Francis-NY 3:00 PM
Bryant
Drake 3:05 PM
Southern Ill
High Point 3:30 PM
Char Southern
Central Conn St 3:30 PM
Fair-Dickinson
Eastern Mich 3:30 PM
Western Mich
Texas 4:00 PM
Kansas
Chattanooga 4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
SE Louisiana 4:00 PM
Central Arkansas
South Dakota St 4:00 PM
South Dakota
Montana 4:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Georgia State 4:15 PM
Troy
Old Dominion 4:30 PM
North Texas
Arkansas State 4:30 PM
Texas State
Texas Southern 5:00 PM
Alabama State
Tennessee St 5:00 PM
Belmont
Princeton 5:00 PM
Brown
Dartmouth 5:00 PM
Cornell
Tennessee 5:00 PM
Florida
Jacksonville St 5:00 PM
Morehead State
San Jose St 5:00 PM
Nevada
Florida A&M 5:00 PM
NC A&T
Iowa 5:00 PM
Penn State
Loyola Marymount 5:00 PM
Pepperdine
Miss State 5:00 PM
South Carolina
Savannah State 5:00 PM
SC State
Miss Valley St 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Southern U
Prairie View 6:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Harvard 6:00 PM
Columbia
George Washington 6:00 PM
Davidson
Syracuse 6:00 PM
Duke
Tenn Tech 6:00 PM
Eastern Ky
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
Elon
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Hartford
Hampton 6:00 PM
Howard
Northwestern 6:00 PM
Illinois
Western Ill 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Kent State
Incarnate Word 6:00 PM
Lamar
Cal State Fullerton 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Marshall
Richmond 6:00 PM
Saint Josephs
George Mason 6:00 PM
Saint Louis
Austin Peay 6:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Murray State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
Penn 6:00 PM
Yale
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Stetson 6:00 PM
North Florida
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Grand Canyon 6:05 PM
UMKC
Abilene Christian 6:15 PM
New Orleans
Northeastern 7:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
Tulsa 7:00 PM
Memphis
Wyoming 7:00 PM
UNLV
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Denver 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Rice
Boise State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
St Marys-CA 7:00 PM
Santa Clara
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Sam Houston St 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
New Mexico St 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
FIU 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Ga Southern 7:15 PM
Louisiana
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Grambling St 7:30 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Auburn 7:30 PM
Texas A&M
Arizona 8:00 PM
Utah
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
New Mexico 9:00 PM
Fresno State
BYU 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Pacific 9:00 PM
San Francisco
Idaho State 9:00 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 9:05 PM
Portland State
UC Riverside 9:30 PM
CS-Northridge
Washington 9:30 PM
USC
CS-Bakersfield 9:30 PM
Seattle
UC Irvine 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Michigan 60 FINAL
Illinois 72
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
Kennesaw St 75
North Florida 45 FINAL
Stetson 77
Samford 65 FINAL
Mercer 70
Liberty 64 FINAL
Campbell 57
North Texas 48 FINAL
Old Dominion 70
St Francis-NY 62 FINAL
Bryant 52
St Francis-PA 58 FINAL
Robert Morris 73
Long Island 71 FINAL
Sacred Heart 78
Sam Houston St 52 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 60
Kent State 59 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 66
ULM 61 FINAL
Appalachian St 80
Boston U 62 FINAL
Holy Cross 76
Nicholls 73 FINAL
McNeese State 68
Akron 38 2nd Half 12:41
Buffalo 54
Ball State 33 2nd Half 13:57
Western Mich 36
MD-Eastern Shore 42 2nd Half
Delaware State 42
Northern Ill 39 2nd Half 9:19
Eastern Michigan 47
Bowling Green 32 2nd Half 12:36
Ohio U 45
Central Michigan 36 2nd Half 13:15
Toledo 41
Coppin State 21 2nd Half
Morgan State 38
Bethune-Cookman 47 2nd Half 10:16
NC Central 19
Central Conn St 64 2nd Half 6:41
Fairleigh Dickinson 52
Memphis 12 2nd Half 11:07
(1) Connecticut 71
Georgia Tech 31 2nd Half 15:57
Wake Forest 36
East Carolina 36 2nd Half 15:50
Temple 39
Marist 29 2nd Half 15:07
Rider 38
Michigan State 38 2nd Half 12:53
Purdue 37
Fairfield 26 1st Half 4:54
Manhattan 20
Niagara 34 2nd Half 15:45
Iona 43
East Tenn St 32 2nd Half 7:46
(18) Chattanooga 50
Furman 48 2nd Half 12:11
Wofford 29
Longwood 42 2nd Half 6:58
Charleston Southern 41
UNC-Asheville 60 2nd Half 13:58
Coastal Carolina 40
Northern Ky 57 2nd Half 11:31
USC Upstate 42
Winthrop 36 2nd Half 12:55
Presbyterian 35
Western Ill 31 1st Half 0:01
South Dakota 34
Detroit 44 2nd Half
Valparaiso 28
Cleveland State 8 1st Half 15:25
Milwaukee 5
Lafayette 1 1st Half 19:07
Army 0
Arkansas State 4 1st Half 13:45
Texas State 8
Georgia State 3 1st Half 14:37
Troy 12
IUPUI 0 1st Half 16:59
South Dakota St 6
Tennessee St 8 1st Half 15:28
Belmont 1
Eastern Illinois 11 1st Half 11:11
SIU-Edwardsville 10
Jacksonville St 14 1st Half 9:28
Morehead St 17
Kansas State 4 1st Half 14:04
TCU 14
Cincinnati 7 1st Half 11:48
SMU 8
SE Louisiana 0 1st Half 18:54
Central Arkansas 2
Denver 2 1st Half 14:15
Nebraska Omaha 6
Tulane 10 1st Half 14:58
Tulsa 8
IUPU-Ft Wayne 2:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Air Force 3:00 PM
Utah State
San Diego State 3:00 PM
Boise State
Fresno State 3:00 PM
New Mexico
Florida A&M 3:00 PM
NC A&T
Gonzaga 3:00 PM
BYU
South Florida 3:00 PM
UCF
UCLA 3:00 PM
Washington
(3) Baylor 3:00 PM
Iowa State
Miss Valley St 3:00 PM
Jackson State
Tenn Tech 3:00 PM
Eastern Kentucky
UMKC 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Seattle 3:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Texas Southern 3:00 PM
Alabama State
Santa Clara 3:00 PM
St Marys-CA
UNLV 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Savannah State 3:00 PM
SC State
Alcorn State 3:00 PM
Southern U
Bucknell 3:00 PM
American Univ
Oakland 3:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Eastern Washington 3:00 PM
Montana
Idaho 3:00 PM
Montana State
Weber State 3:00 PM
Idaho State
Radford 3:00 PM
High Point
Green Bay 3:30 PM
Youngstown St
Austin Peay 3:30 PM
SE Missouri St
Wagner 3:30 PM
Mount St Marys
Portland 4:00 PM
San Diego
Nevada 4:00 PM
San Jose St
Stephen F Austin 4:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 4:00 PM
Lamar
Abilene Christian 4:00 PM
New Orleans
Pepperdine 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
San Francisco 4:00 PM
Pacific
Prairie View 4:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Hampton 4:00 PM
Howard
Chicago State 4:00 PM
Utah Valley U
Murray State 4:00 PM
UT Martin
Cal Poly 4:00 PM
Cal-Irvine
Marshall 4:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Portland State 4:00 PM
Sacramento St
UC Santa Barbara 4:00 PM
UC Davis
Western Ky 5:00 PM
FIU
UAB 5:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Georgia Southern 5:00 PM
Louisiana
Grambling 5:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Cornell 5:00 PM
Dartmouth
Columbia 5:00 PM
Harvard
Brown 5:00 PM
(14) Princeton
USC 5:00 PM
Washington St
(24) California 5:00 PM
(7) Oregon State
Yale 6:00 PM
Penn
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Navy
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
(21) Fla Gulf Coast
Long Beach St 6:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Rice 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Colgate 6:30 PM
Lehigh
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Kansas 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northern Colorado 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close