New Life for the Sanctuary

In 1998, local architect Bill Hiltner reconfigured the cavernous sanctuary with its elegant timber beans for a smaller congregation and to accommodate the growing use of the space as a public gathering space for local performing arts groups.

Renovation highlights included:

  • complete removal of the church pews,
  • new flooring with a beautiful in-laid Labyrinth in the style of the 12th century Labyrinth at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres, France,
  • and a series of swooping white cloth canopies that define a more intimate, semicircular worship space.

The stunning renovation won an award from the Wisconsin society of the American Institute of Architects.  The sanctuary has become a popular rehearsal and performance space for small- to medium-sized performing arts groups seeking exquisite acoustics, a central downtown location, and a beautiful, historic setting.  The sanctuary now offers flexible seating for up to 250 people.

Today, the historic sanctuary is available for rent to not only performing arts groups, but to educational, community, and corporate organizations seeking flexible, downtown space for meetings, retreats, and community conversations.

And of course, the sanctuary is widely used by Calvary Presbyterian Church, Immanuel Church Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Center for Contemplative Community.  Public Labyrinth and Taize services draw Milwaukeeans from all backgrounds for healing contemplative services.

Taize Services