The 1904 sanctuary of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on Fifth Street will be demolished this year, church officials say, but one important element in its history will be preserved.
The building, between Lafayette Avenue and Pearl Street, has not been used as a place of worship since completion of the newer Gunnar Birkets church in 1988 and has essentially been shuttered since 2003.
“We haven’t awarded any demolition contracts at this point,” said Gary Goshorn, executive director of St. Peter’s Ele-mentary School. “However, it’s our intent to have it torn down before the start of the next school year.”
Aside from the outer shell, little remains of the original building, which underwent a major renovation in 1968.
“Were we to attempt to save the old building, we’d essentially be restoring a 1968 structure,” Goshorn said.
The link to the origin of the building that will be preserved is the series of stained glass windows in its walls.
The windows are so important to the history of the congregation that church leaders voted to have them removed and put in secure storage until a use can be found for them.
The church contracted with the Botti Studio of Architectural Arts in Evanston, Ill., to secure the glass before the building is demolished.
Church historians believe that the windows were original to the building, and the materials used in making them came from the Kokomo Glass Co. in northern Indiana.