St. Michael’s New Church – 1923

Almost as soon as they started worshiping in the little brown church at the NW corner of NE 38th & Broadway, the leaders of St Michael’s realized that they would soon need a larger worship space. That little church only held 100 people (according to Iona Gardiner, one of the founders of the congregation). By the fall of 1912 the leadership was in conversation with the Diocese, and in 1914 the bishop, the Rt. Rev. Charles Scadding, purchased three lots at the NE corner of NE 43rd and Broadway for St Michael’s new church. A short time later, Bishop Scadding died quite suddenly.

Later that same year, the little church, plus one outbuilding, were moved to the new property, and the vestry began discussing plans to build a new, larger church which would be known as the Bishop Scadding Memorial Church. Bishop Scadding was much beloved by the congregation.  The plans for this new church were approved. Now the real work would begin: raising the necessary funds to build the planned church.

The fundraising effort did not go well even though parishioners were quite excited by the prospect of honoring Bishop Scadding. Ultimately, they had to admit defeat. They still needed a larger church but could not fund the Scadding Memorial Church they had envisioned.

In June of 1922, the Building Committee called upon a new architectural firm, Lawrence, Holford and Parker, Architects, to prepare sketches for a new church. A short time later, on September 17, 1922, The Most Rev. Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, laid the cornerstone for the new church. A bid in the amount of $17,080 ($310,194 in 2023) was accepted in November of 1922 to build the church. In just over a year the new church was built and was nearly ready for worship, but the pews did not meet specifications. So, when the congregation worshiped in that space for the first time, they sat on wooden folding chairs. This is the church we worship in today.

— The Rev. Dr. Caroline Litzenberger, St. Michael’s Associate Clergy