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Restoration continues at Trinity Lutheran Church nearly two years after devastating fire

Posted at 12:17 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 23:08:00-04

MILWAUKEE — Two years after a fire ravaged Trinity Lutheran Church in Downtown Milwaukee, crews continue to re-build the historic site amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The fire happened on May 15, 2018. Smoke filled the air in downtown Milwaukee as the church, built back in 1878, went up in flames on the corner near 9th St. and Highland Ave.

"It’s kind of interesting how similar the day is today. Beautiful, sunny, May day," said Rev. M. Douglas Peters, pastor of the church.

Pastor Peters said the restoration of the church has not been an easy achievement.

Outside, crews continue to lay slate being shipped in from Spain as they construct the new roof. New stained glass windows are being made to help bring an added burst of beauty to the historic site and scaffolding also continues on the exterior of the building.

"The entire roof structure has been rebuilt and that’s no small feat considering this structure was built in 1870 and things change over 140 years," said Pastor Peters.

Inside, crews focus on structural development and ensuring the building will be up to code when it's completed. Pastor Peters said all of the work is proof of progress, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Things have slowed a bit just because there aren’t as many people working to do the type of work that needs to be done," said Peters.

Despite this year's interruptions, construction is still on schedule, according to Peters.

"The pause has allowed for certain steps that needed to be taken, the review process for plans and that sort of thing, to occur," said Peters.

The goal is to have the project, which could cost up to $24 million, completed in the year 2022.

In the meantime, worship is taking place in groups of ten or less on Sunday mornings inside the church office, which is located just next door to the historic building currently being restored.

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