Since 1870, the historic Big Red Church – with its bright red brick exterior and tall elegant steeples – has served as a link between Milwaukee’s downtown and west. And between Milwaukee’s past, present, and future. With an award-winning restoration in 1998, The Big Red Church has emerged as downtown Milwaukee’s Sacred Space as Third Space – a place that is neither home nor work – but a place for community conversations, contemplation, and celebration. A place to enjoy provocative, creative performing arts. A place for healing contemplation. And a place for community connections.

It is a place for all of us.

And it is why we are now turning to you to help fund $2 million in critically needed repairs. These include a new roof, tuckpointing and painting, and stained glass window repairs. It also includes “green” features such as a green roof, solar panels, stormwater containment systems, and green landscaping. The Big Red Church is committed to preserving both our environment and the historic character of our building.

Your financial support is needed TODAY to ensure that the historic Big Red Church can continue supporting the arts, architecture, and abundant life.


Say Yes to The Arts, Architecture and Abundant Life


Innovative adaptive reuse of Milwaukee’s public spaces and historic buildings, along with new commercial, residential, and retail developments, have re-energized Milwaukee’s near west side and downtown. It has delivered a new appreciation of Milwaukee’s past, present, and future. And it has fueled a hunger for deeper connections.

To meet this need, Milwaukee’s Big Red Church has evolved into a “sacred space as third space”– a place that is neither work nor home – a place to make new and unexpected connections. Today the Big Red Church is a cultural center, a historic touchstone, and a community gathering place….an essential space that sustains healthy, diverse, creative, and abundant downtown neighborhoods.

As a Third Space, The Big Red Church advocates for a flourishing, joyful community by supporting the arts, architecture, and abundant life.


  • The Big Red Church offers performance and rehearsal space to small- to medium-sized performing arts groups seeking high-quality, affordable, and flexible space with exquisite acoustics and stunning historic architecture in downtown Milwaukee. Some of these groups include:
    • DanceWorks
    • Milwaukee Opera Theater
    • African-American Children’s Theater
    • The Bel Canto Chorus
    • Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra (now Milwaukee Music)
    • And local university and high school performing arts departments
  • Since 2007,  The Big Red Church’s spacious and restored basement has been home to In Tandem Theatre .  They produce innovative, exciting live theater that inspires, enlightens, provokes and entertains.  In Tandem Theater also hosts a rotating artist gallery and sublets its theater to smaller theater companies and special events.



  • Hosting architectural and historic tours, including the popular Doors Open Milwaukee, to showcase the church’s history and architectural details.
    • Built in 1870 by Henry C. Koch (his first Milwaukee building)
    • Listed on National Register of Historic Places
    • Winner of a Wisconsin AIA award for 1998 renovation that replaced pews with an in-laid Labyrinth, swooping cloth canopies, and flexible seating for up to 250
    • Doors Open Milwaukee participant
    • Planned green restorations that preserve historic integrity


  • Promoting abundant life by making the sanctuary available to those -– regardless of church membership – seeking a beautiful downtown wedding venue; offering contemplative services and community celebrations such as Labyrinth walks, Taizé services, and fellowship services; and encouraging use of the sanctuary as a public gathering space for community conversations, professional meetings, lectures and classes, and more.
    • Highly sought-after wedding venue with 30+ weddings a year (regardless of gender or church membership)
    • Home of Calvary Presbyterian Church and Immanuel Church Milwaukee
    • Home of the Milwaukee Center for Contemplative Community, offering:
      • Public Labyrinth walks
      •  Taizé services
      • Reconciliation, healing, wellness, and team-building retreats
    • Community forums on economic, social, racial, and environmental justice



Say Yes to The Arts, Architecture and Abundant Life