Address: 601 E. 35th Street
Construction date: 1913-1915
Heath & Gove
“The new church is one of the prettiest in Tacoma, commanding an excellent location and being well adapted to expansion at any time” so notes the 12/27/1914 Tacoma Daily Ledger. This striking brick and terra cotta church with parapet bell tower is located near the McKinley Business District. The interior woodwork is a stained natural fir and showcases a vaulted ceiling. Two memorial windows were installed from the old Fowler Church building. One commemorates the father of Governor Ernest Lister and Alfred Lister, Secretary of the School Board, and the other Jeremiah Lister and his wife.
Trinity Methodist Church grew out of a merger between the Fowler Methodist Church and the McKinley Park Church. Fowler Church was organized in 1889 with Rev. B.F. Brooks, and McKinley Church was a ‘daughter’ church of Fowler that first started as a mission Sunday school and later organized as a church. The church was formally dedicated on January 10, 1915; programs throughout that week featured banquets, musical, literary programs, and speakers. In 1923, the McKinley Hill Community Building was erected at the rear of the church by Trinity Methodist Church and the McKinley Hill Improvement Club. This frame construction housed a 60’ x 30’ gym with adjoining shower and locker rooms and several spacious clubrooms. This provided daily activities and community building for the McKinley area young people.
McKinley Hill began to develop after 1904 when the Northern Pacific Beneficiary Association Hospital was built and when streetcar transportation was extended to southeast Tacoma. Development proceeded in pace with the extension of the streetcar line. Further development was stimulated by the Tacoma and Eastern Railroad depot and freight facility at S. 64th St. and McKinley Ave. The line was the major rail route to Mt. Rainier before popular use of the auto.
The Trinity congregation disbanded in late 2007. The deterioriated structure became the responsibility of the United Methodist judicatory/Pacific NW Conference which worked with Calvary United Methodist Church to rehabilitate the church for this growing Samoan congregation. Through a significant committment of time and labor on the part of the congregation and financial support from the conference, rehabilitation was completed in early spring 2009. The church was reconsecrated and dedicated as Kalevaria United Methodist Church on March 28, 2009. The property has been removed from Historic Tacoma's Watch List and is a great rehabilitation success story.
The property is not listed on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.
Posted 10/21/08 -- Updated 3/30/09