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Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity

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1761–1766, Johannes Grosch(?); 1794 tower, Abraham Colladay. 31 S. Duke St.
  • (HABS)

The German congregation found a premier site just to the east of Penn Square, attesting to their dominance in the early town. Lancaster historian John Snyder attributes its design to local joiner Grosch, who appears to have used Robert Smith's St. Peter's Church in Philadelphia ( PH18) as the general model. Because St. Peter's had no spire, the later spire followed Christ Church's ( PH4) model. It was added by Philadelphia master builder Colladay, who in 1795 exhibited a “draft of the wood-work of a Steeple built at Lancaster” in the first American architectural exhibition sponsored by the Columbianum, an early Philadelphia venture in the support of the arts held in the upper gallery of Independence Hall. Although slightly Victorianized in the 1850s, the core of the church remains. The stumpy proportions and squashed keystone of the pedimented central door under the tower attest to its provincial designer.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity", [Lancaster, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 317-317.

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