St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

San Francisco, CA | historic

Using concealed methods, ELS strengthened and restored St. Mark’s, a Romanesque-Gothic Lutheran church in San Francisco.

A drawing showing St. Mark's steel trusses and original timber frame

St. Mark’s serves the oldest Lutheran congregation on the West Coast. Designed by German-American architect Henry Geilfuss and constructed in 1804, it is considered one of the grandest German churches in California. The landmark building survived the devastating earthquake of 1906, but 1989’s Loma Prieta quake left the unreinforced masonry building standing but in need of a seismic retrofit. The building systems and life safety upgrades are invisible, and the interior finishes have been carefully restored to retain the church’s historic fabric. ELS repainted the sanctuary with uplifting hues, and the original Douglas fir sanctuary gleams once again.


California Heritage Council Award

California Preservation Foundation Design Award

Project Stats
  • Client

    St. Mark’s Lutheran Church


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