|THEN: Lutheran Church of Our Saviour's 1932 assemblage circa 1936 at 92-14 63rd Dr, Rego Park|
|NOW: Mostly unaltered from its origins. Happy 85th, congregation! Happy 79th, charming landmark!|
It is phenomenal how Our Saviour Lutheran Church's 1932 establishment survives mostly intact inside and out, and how its landscaped lawn is always maintained. Our flickr link shows Rego Park, Elmhurst, & Queenswide business ads from 1936, in addition to the historic text and photos also found below:
The 10th Anniversary publication features the first ministry, the church on Booth St, the first chapel, Pastor Kuechle's early ministry, early church finances, the first council, dreams of a new church, dreams answered with the Oct 25, 1931 groundbreaking ceremony led by Pastor Kuechle, the current establishment's Feb 28, 1932 dedication, its years of growth, the Rego Park Lutheran publication, and its religious education, the choir, church societies, and its leadership.
December 20, 1931 marked the corner-stone laying ceremony, where a photographer from the NY Times took a photo of the building committee, which appeared in the Rotogravure section. The contents of the cornerstone were a New Testament, a copy of Luther's Catechism, a Hymn Book, a copy of the Lutheran Annual (1932), a copy of the Lutheran Witness, a Constitution of the US, a copy of the Atlantic Bulletin, coin of the US, $1.00, issue of 1931, history of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, roster of Communicant Members, the names of congregational officers, members of the building committee, the architect and the builder, a copy of the financial campaign prospectus and a list of the workers, a program of the ground-breaking service, a copy of the Rego Park Lutheran, a copy of the Daily Star (local paper) bearing the story of the corner-stone laying, a program of the corner-stone service, and a copy of The Post (a Rego Park paper).
Unsurprisingly, Benjamin Braunstein was commissioned to design this charming Colonial-style church on 63rd Dr and Wetherole St on land that was owned by the Real Good Construction Company, which named Rego Park in 1923. Lutheran Church of Our Saviour's congregation accepted a bid by the Auserehl & Son Contracting Corp of Jamaica, NY at $12,696, non-inclusive of plumbing, heating, hardware, lighting fixtures, and the pews. Fine facade and sanctuary finishes were produced at a modest cost. The facade presently bears arched multi-paned windows, a pilaster-flanked biblical stained glass arched window on its western exposure, a lattice unifying the transition from the garden to the church, a bell tower, and a tiled pitched roof, amongst other features. The interior is bright, being that it is served by arched windows on its northern and southern exposures, and its double-sided layout of pews in a humble, arches space is graceful, and is embellished by the ornately carved detail on wainscoting, which leads the eye to the ornate woodwork on the triumphant altar. Architect Benjamin Braunstein is well-known for his generous quantity of 6-story garden-style (Georgian) Colonial apartment houses in Forest Hills and Rego Park in the 1930s and 1940s around the period of the 1936 IND subway and 1939-1940 World's Fair, and his earlier Tudor designs, best depicted in Sutton Hall apartments on Ascan Ave in Forest Hills.
Upon reading the 10th Anniversary publication from 1936 below, think of how Our Saviour Lutheran Church on 63rd Dr embodies the spirit of our community in context of early Rego Park history, its fine craftsmanship and landscape, and its timeline and contributions to the present. One should never take anything for granted. HAPPY TREASURE HUNTING!