Tuesday, October 21, 2008

St. Marks Lutheran Church--San Francisco

Sent to me by Paul and Yuna who are members.

Founded in 1849, Saint Marks's is the oldest Lutheran parish west of the Mississippi. The original church was at Stockton and O'Farrell Streets, where Macy's west coast flagship store now sits. In 1894, the parish occupied this building which it had built, having outgrown the original site - and the population of the city having moved west. In the 1906 earthquake and fire, the church was nearly destroyed by fire crews dynamiting buildings trying to stop the fire. Most of the water mains in the city had broken in the quake. The pastor begged the fire crews to try an adjacent water main. It worked and the church was spared. The basement of the church became a hospital and soup kitchen for earthquake victims. The church took a serious hit in the 1989 earthquake. In 2006, an $11,000,000 restoration and earthquake retrofitting was completed. In contrast to the rather stern exterior, the interior is very warm and comforting. The acoustics are superb. In the restoration, the church was fitted with a superb Baroque-style tracker organ.

I added two more pics. One of Paul and Yuna and one of the interior.