While working in the late 1940s as associate architects with Eliel Saarinen on Christ Lutheran Church, the Minneapolis firm Hills Gilbertson Architects was hired to design a new home for the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, formerly Lake Harriet Lutheran Church. Hills Gilbertson developed multiple design options, both “traditional” and “contemporary”, and the one ultimately built shows how their relationship with Saarinen influenced the final design.
In addition to the architecture, the design incorporated sculptures by noted artists Evelyn Raymond and Paul Granlund, brick sculptures by Vic Gilbertson, and stained or epoxy glass installations by Conrad Pickel Studios of Waukesha, WI and Universal Studios of Winona, MN, respectively. The church continued to develop in phases over the years, with additions designed by Gilbertson in the 1950s and 1960s, a Sanctuary remodeling by him in the 1970s, an addition by SMSQ Architects in the 1990s, and an addition and renovation by Kodet Architects in 2014.
Come see this Mid-Century Modern masterpiece to see how the design was inspired by, yet varies from, Christ Church Lutheran. Also see how the subsequent additions and renovations have kept the original design intent and spirit.
This tour walks about 1/2 mile and is ADA accessible.
Please park and enter from the parking lot on south side and proceed up the stairs to the Narthex.
The tour guide Chuck Liddy, FAIA, is an architect at Miller Dunwiddie. He has specialized in historic preservation projects for over 40 years, having worked on over 300 such projects during his career. He personally knew Vic Gilbertson, the designer of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.