St. Luke AME Church

Lawrence, KS (2005-Present)

900 New York Street

The Saint Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church is a historic building constructed in 1910. The church has been an integral part of Lawrence’s African-American community especially during its first forty years, as this was a time of racial discrimination and segregation. The building is one-story tall, with a basement. The main floor structure is 6,140 square feet. The building has two crenelated towers; the north tower is three stories and the south tower is two stories. The twin towered brick structure exemplifies the Gothic Revival ecclesiastical style; window details create the decorative polychromatic pattern suited for the building style. 

The exterior of the church remains largely unchanged. Hernly Associates has completed several phases of rehabilitation work to preserve the building and restore the structure to its original Gothic Revival grandeur. The first phase, completed in 2010, removed a flat ceiling installed in the sanctuary in 1972, restored the tin ceiling and reinforced the roof structure with concealed ridge beams and steel frames. In 2019, the north basement entrance was made handicap accessible with the street and sidewalk improvements by the city of Lawrence. The stained-glass windows and masonry rehabilitation projects were completed in 2022. The exterior brick veneer is now reattached to the wood stud framing with stainless steel stitch-ties. The stained-glass windows have also been rehabilitated through the replacement of cracked and missing glass panes with matching glass from the original glass supplier. 

St. Luke AME Church continues to serve its initial historical purpose and add value to the cultural characteristic of the Lawrence community. Several community organizations have contributed to the project’s funding, including the Lawrence Preservation Alliance, Kansas Historical Society, Douglas County Community Foundation, and the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council. The historical integrity of the building has remained intact as the building itself has remained in its original location, its setting is largely intact and it utilizes traditional construction methods and materials. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.The project has also won multiple awards, including the 2010 Preservation Achievement Award from the Lawrence Preservation Alliance and the 2011 Preservation Stewardship Award from the Kansas Preservation Alliance.

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