Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Read about the history and designation of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church historic landmark.


Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is the oldest Minneapolis church in its original architectural style. 

  • Location: 316 4th Avenue Southeast
  • Neighborhood: Marcy-Holmes

Historic photo (circa 1875)

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church circa 1875


Current photo (2022)

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church 2022





  • Architectural Style: Ruskinian Gothic; Gothic Revival
  • Architect: William Cansdale; Warren H. Hayes 


  • Historic use: Church
  • Current use: Church


  • Construction date: 1873
  • Contractor: Unknown (multiple; community effort)


  • Area(s) of significance: Social History, Architect
  • Period of Significance: 1873-1890
  • Date of local designation: 2023
  • Date of National Register designation: N/A
  • Designation: Exterior 

Historic profile

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is the oldest Minneapolis church in its original architectural style. The congregation purchased the 316 4th Ave SE site in 1872. A young English architect, William Cansdale, designed the building in 1873. Reverend George L. Chase guided the design process. Community members helped build it. W.W. Folwell, the first President of the University of Minnesota, was one of the stone carvers. The first service in the building was held on November 30, 1873.  

The church is a rare example of the Ruskinian Gothic architectural style. This style refers to buildings influenced by John Ruskin's ideas. Ruskin was a famous English philosopher and writer in the 1800s. He advocated for handcrafted construction, gothic design, and using several colors of masonry. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is a very good local example of this style.  

In 1890, an addition by master architect Warren H. Hayes doubled the church's size. Hayes was careful to follow the building's original design. He used the same Platteville limestone and Kasota stone accent for materials.  


Photo credit

  • Circa 1875 photo: Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society 
  • 2022 photo: Courtesy of Hess, Roise and Co. 

Work cited

"Hess, Roise and Co.,Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Designation Study, 2022.

Contact us

Community Planning & Economic Development

Historic Preservation




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415