Placeography:Featured place/2018-10

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2544 Highway 100 South, St. Louis Park, Minnesota


The Lutheran Church of the Reformation began on November 14, 1954, when a group of people interested in establishing an Augustana Lutheran church in the Park met with the Regional Director of the Board of American Missions for the Minnesota Conference. The denomination was formed in 1924 as the Augustana Congregation under Dr. P.A. Mattson. A building fund was started in May 1958, with a goal to raise at least $30,000 of the $82,000 needed to building the “first unit.” The first unit measured 50 ft. wide by 80 ft. long and would accommodate 200 to 250 chair s and seat 170 for dinner.The $70,000 first unit building, designed by architects Hammel and Green and built by the Ridgeway Construction Co., was dedicated on January 4, 1959. Over the years the congregation decreased and eventually left the church. The building went vacant in 2014.Wat Thai of Minnesota was founded in 2003. In January 2017, the president of Wat Thai bought the former Lutheran Church of the Reformation.Within a couple of months, Wat Thai converted the old church into a temple. Monks and volunteers repaired the electricity and plumbing, replaced broken windows and painted over graffiti on the walls. A large golden Buddha and other smaller Buddhas are arranged in the temple’s meditation space.

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