Trinity Parish Episcopal Church

This is the first of an eight-part series on our blog, highlighting Historic Seattle’s 2015 Preservation Award recipients. The awards were presented at our 7th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony on May 12, 2015, at the Good Shepherd Center.

Trinity Parish Episcopal ChurchBeth Chave Historic Preservation Award
Exemplary Stewardship

Trinity Parish Episcopal Church
609 Eighth Avenue

The Exemplary Stewardship Award went to Trinity Parish Episcopal Church for its longstanding dedication and deep passion for preservation throughout its stewardship of this historic stone church on First Hill.

Built in 1892 and enlarged in 1902, Trinity Parish is the City’s first stone church. The English Gothic Revival building is distinguished by its Wilkeson sandstone exterior and figural stained glass windows fabricated by the Franz Mayer Studio of Munich, Germany.

When Trinity Church was severely damaged in the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake, the congregation and community came together to restore this sacred place. They raised $7 million and embarked on a nearly three-year restoration and seismic retrofit. Bassetti Architects planned the restoration and RAFN Company implemented the dangerous work of securing the tower and strengthening the walls. At the same time, the stained glass windows, baptismal font, and pipe organ were restored; a new altar was incorporated; and interior furnishings were updated. The congregation celebrated its first service in the restored sanctuary on Christmas Eve, 2005.

In 2013, Trinity contracted with SMR Architects to carry out additional seismic work to restore the outward appearance and inward strength of the building. Nancy Cleminshaw, Trinity’s Junior Warden, worked closely with the architects throughout design and construction phases. Wiss Janney Elstner conducted extensive tests on the mortar and deteriorating sandstone in order to repoint and clean the stone masonry. The discolored and cracked protective window coatings were replaced, allowing the stained glass to regain its original vibrancy. W.G. Clark performed the tricky task of steeple repairs and cupola roofing replacements.

Though more recent development has diminished Trinity’s view, the historic stone church remains an integral part of Seattle’s architectural and religious history. The church is listed on the state and national registers, and is a designated Seattle landmark.

Supporting Partners: Trinity Parish Episcopal Church; Bassetti Architects; SMR Architects; Quantum Engineers; I.L. Gross Structural Engineers; RAFN Company; W.G. Clark; Pioneer Masonry; Wiss Janney Elstner; Seattle Stained Glass.

Photos: William P. Wright