Built St. Louis > > MidCentury Modernism > > Emil Frei Stained Glass

Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
- South County
Architect: Murphy & Mackey, 1959

Stained Glass: Siegfried Reinhardt & Emil Frei Jr.

While the building is not the most elegant design on the outside, the sanctuary within is a startlingly clean and expressive space, dominated by the giant stained window that filles the eastern opening.

The "Easter Window" features a flamelike design on a light purple background. The window depicts the Holy Spirit as a mass of flame, set in the triangular frame representing the Holy Trinity. The openness of this end of the church, its dominant source of natural light, symbolizes the open tomb after the Resurrection.

The church carried out a substantial building program between my first visit, in February 2008, and my second, in March 2012. The new additions are harmonious with the new church, though they do conceal some of the original building, and diminish the intended effect of separate masses joined by thin, light connecting passageways.

My original photos were taken at dusk - so it was a total shock to return for a daylight visit four years later and discover just how wrong the colors in them were. Far from the blue shown here, the window is dominated by the light lavenders and purples seen below.

Top: 2008, the original configuration of the south entrance.

Below: 2012, the newly expanded entry vestibule.

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