Where the past, the present and the future meet.
Organized and incorporated more than a century ago by German immigrants, Historic Zion Lutheran Church is a metropolitan congregation here in Portland, Oregon.
The original church in "Gothic Revival" style was completed in 1890 on the corner lot of the present half-block site. That structure remained in use for sixty years.
The building in which Zion worships today was designed by world famous architect Pietro Belluschi. Dedicated in 1950, it was acclaimed immediately as exemplary contemporary church architecture and has since been designated a Portland Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
When approaching the church, one sees from a distance the copper-clad spire. Its pinnacle is the cross, a primary symbol of Christianity.
The front courtyard and sheltered porch convey a sense of separation from the noise and confusion of the city streets. One enters the church through copper doors (pictured above) upon which Frederic Littman, sculptor, has depicted in repousse a design of ascending angels.
After passing through the doors, into the nave, one's eye is drawn toward the spacious sanctuary and chancel, where morning light streams through a window wall of amber and violet glass to illumine the altar and cross which are focal points in Lutheran Worship. Embossed on the front altar are symbols of the heavenly Zion, the final home of the redeemed: the crown of life, the palms of victory, and the stars of heaven. Zion's sanctuary offers a haven for one's prayer and praise and for contemplation of the majesty and love of God -- a place where one's spirit is renewed to do God's work in the world for the sake of Jesus Christ.