You are here

Bethel Baptist Church (Zion Lutheran Church)

-A A +A
1883, 1908. 2030 W. North Ave.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

A landmark on Milwaukee’s North Side, the former Zion Lutheran Church reflects the architectural tastes of its original German American congregation. The church is now home to Bethel Baptist Church, an African American congregation. Overall, the spiky and angular appearance of this imposing building reflects then-dominant trends in German church design. Nineteenth-century German church architects drew eclectically from centuries of Teutonic architectural motifs, as did Zion’s designers. The strong central, square tower with a tall spire, flanked by two smaller towers, reflects a medieval German tradition. The lancet windows are characteristic of Gothic Revival. When this church was built, the style had lost its popularity for domestic design, but in more robust and archaeological forms, it enjoyed a resurgence for public buildings and churches. Zion shows the decorative possibilities of Milwaukee’s distinctive cream brick. The present brick-clad outer walls and corner towers were installed over the original clapboard-sided walls in 1908. The extensive round-arched corbeling of these brick walls adds to the intricacy of the main facade.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Bethel Baptist Church (Zion Lutheran Church)", [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 123-123.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.