The Original St. Mark's
Then and Now
The original St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church was located on Bodkin Street, which was once the lower end of Brookline Boulevard. The building was dedicated on September 20, 1908, and served the congregation until 1928, when the current Gothic-style church was erected on Glenarm Avenue. Today, the century-old building has been converted into a duplex apartment. It still contains many reminders of the old church, including the cornerstone.
The chapel, shown above shortly after it's opening in 1908, also served as a schoolhouse for many years to help ease overcrowding at West Liberty and Brookline Elementary Schools. The wood-framed structure contained a bell tower and a side entranceway.
The photo above shows the St. Mark's church building, to the left along Brookline Boulevard, on October 1, 1909. The picture is taken from near West Liberty Avenue, looking up the boulevard towards the intersection with Pioneer Avenue and the main commercial district. The name of the roadway and address of the chapel was changed to Bodkin Street when the Brookline Boulevard was re-routed in 1935.
Above is the original St. Mark's Church building in 2004. Although it's been altered quite a bit, much of the original structure remains intact. It is an interesting piece of architecture, and a restorers dream. The bell tower was removed and a porch added, with new front entranceways. The basement foundation is made of large natural blocks and is a look back in time at a by-gone era in building construction.
In 2012, the building's owner Harry Patterson removed the side panels on the porch and Doug Brendel took these photos of the building's granite cornerstone. The professionally engraved stone has been painted over with some sort of stucco sealant and has weathered over a century of aging, but the words "Saint Mark's Lutheran Chapel 1908" still stand out quite well. This hidden cornerstone is a vital part of both the history of the St. Mark's Lutheran Mission, which has it's roots in 1906, and the community of Brookline.
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