CHURCHES AND SYNAGOGUES From the Re-Echo, Spring 2004
The Historical Society is researching the history of
churches and synagogues in St. Louis Park. Please
contact us if you have any information about the history
of a church or synagogue that you could share with the
The oldest church in the City is
Union Congregational. It began as the Clarke
Chapel at the intersection of Wooddale and Excelsior
Boulevard. Its roots go back to 1870, when services
were held in the Pratt School, also at that intersection.
Clarke Chapel was built in 1878. In 1890 it was moved
to its present Alabama Ave. location. The current
building was dedicated in 1941.
There were two community churches that met the needs of the
populace in north and south St. Louis Park. The
Brookside Community Church started with members meeting
in a cottage in 1913. They moved to their new church
on Brookside Ave. in 1915. It is unknown whether the
church was originally Methodist, but it was certainly
Methodist when it merged with the Methodist Meeting House on
Salem Ave. to become
Aldersgate Methodist Church. Aldersgate built at
its present site in 1951. The little white church on
Brookside Ave. was subsequently used by Christian Scientists
and is now St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church.
Northside Community Church has roots going back to 1920.
In the middle 1940s, the heretofore nondenominational church
became Lutheran. In 1947, the name was changed to
Westwood Lutheran Church. The church built a new
building on Cedar Lake Road in 1948. The original
Northside building reopened as Ascention Lutheran Church in
In addition to these older churches, there was a building
boom of churches in the late 1940s and '50s to coincide with
the population and home building boom.
Synagogues have a very rich and important history in St.
Louis Park. The
migration of Jewish
families from North Minneapolis started after World War
II and continued in force throughout the 1950s and '60s.
Two of the first synagogues to move to the Park were
B'nai Emet (1959) and
Beth El (1961).
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.