Central Lutheran Church Steeple

Upon completion of renovations to their church in 2005, members of the Central Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland discovered that their Glulam steeple and cross had rotted. A decision was made to tear the structure down due to a lack of funds and liability concerns should the structure collapse.

But the city of Portland had named the Pietro Belluschi designed building a historic landmark in 1970 and city officials informed the congregation that they would have to replace the landmark steeple or face heavy fines. Furthermore, the tower and cross had to look exactly like the original one.

The tower was fabricated, stained, and pre-assembled in four large sections at the Western Wood Structures facility in Tualatin and trucked to the site for final assembly. The City allowed a few allowances because of current building codes but the cross and steeple are very close in appearance to the original.

Three years after the original steeple had been taken down, the new one was lifted into place with two cranes and can be spotted looming 100 feet above the sidewalk in its original position.