Series on the North End’s historic places of worship. Click the link for a listing of Places of Worship.
The North End is home to two churches with the name ‘Immanuel’ – the historic Immanuel M.E. Church in Hyde Park (and soon to be home of TRICA) and the Immanuel Lutheran Church. Both were built over 100 years ago and both share the architects Tourtellotte and Hummel. Charles Hummel was the lead architect on both churches, and both are on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic portion of Immanuel Lutheran is named the Augustana Chapel.
In the late 1960’s the basement congregation room of the chapel was used as a makeshift coffeehouse and many early Boise liberals and anti-war activists met there.
History of Immanuel Lutheran Church
Edited from the original at www.ilcboise.org – the congregation website.
On January 22, 1906 the Swedish Lutheran Church of the Augustana Synod was organized under the leadership of the Rev. Charles E. Bengston of Idaho Falls. According to church records, the original building, at First and Bannock streets, had 19 charter members. Because they were Scandinavians, Swedish became the first language spoken from the pulpit.
A site for the new church building was purchased for $3,500.00 Ground was broken at Seventh and Fort Streets on May 26, 1908. The church was completed during the pastorate of the Rev. C.C. Olsson and was dedicated September 22, 1915.
Charles F. Hummel I, the designer, was significant for the large number of other important buildings in Idaho in which he was architect, including the state capitol, St. John’s Catholic Cathedral (in Romanesque revival) and the University of Idaho administration building. The Statesman in January 1909, probably quoting the architects, described the church as being “in the true ecclesiastical Gothic style of architecture.” The Gothic revival aspect of the building, even more than its great charm, makes it important in the overall work of Tourtellotte and Hummel.
By the late 1950’s it was decided to name the original building, which had been expanded to include a more modern structure, Augustana Chapel in recognition of its first synodical affiliation. The chapel continues to be used for weekly communion services, occasional weddings and special services.
Augustana Chapel is a sandstone and shingle structure in the Gothic style. Its Gothic features include a cruciform plan with off-center tower, Gothic windows and portal. It is distinguished by its compactness, measuring only 38’x 64′, its extremely shallow transepts, its steeple ornamentation, lack of buttresses, and its use of local sandstone for the basement and first floors.