Saint Lucas’ History

In the late 1800s, a group of German Lutherans gather to found Saint Lucas. They call it the Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische St. Lucas Germeinde zu Bay View, which means the German Evangelical Lutheran St. Lucas Congregation of Bay View.

  • On Oct. 6, 1872, the founders dedicate Saint Lucas’ first building on land donated by the Milwaukee Iron Company at the corner of Kinnickinnic Avenue and Russell Street. The front of this building serves as church and school, and the rear portion is the pastor’s home. The cost of the building was $1,600.

  • Saint Lucas’ congregation purchases a parcel located at 2605 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue in 1877, and the church and school move to this site. In 1879, Bay View incorporates as a village, becoming Milwaukee’s first suburb.

  • In 1887, Bay View’s residents vote to join the city of Milwaukee. The neighborhood becomes the 17th ward.

  • Saint Lucas purchases land and builds a four-room school at 648 E. Dover Street in 1891.

  • In 1919, the congregation adds a large auditorium/gymnasium to the school building and installs four bowling alleys in the basement.

  • Above, Saint Lucas school children pose for a class picture circa 1924.

  • Students at Saint Lucas welcome a new playground slide in 1932.

  • This image captures a graduation program from June 22, 1932.

  • Saint Lucas’ kindergarten class of 1952-1953.

  • In 1961, Saint Lucas’ 70-year-old school is razed, except for the gymnasium and bowling alleys.

  • A 10-room school opens in 1962.

  • The 1962-1963 Saint Lucas’ basketball team.

  • Students enjoy bowling in the basement at Saint Lucas until 1997.

  • Here’s another image of student bowlers.

  • In January of 1998, construction begins on a new school building. Saint Lucas students and faculty temporarily relocate to the vacant Roosevelt School in West Allis, Wis., for the remainder of the school year. Saint Lucas dedicates the current building in 1999.

  • Saint Lucas did more than meet the standards set forth from the National Council for Private School Accreditation; they exceed them and receive “Exemplary Accreditation” status in 2012.

  • On Oct. 11, 2015, Saint Lucas dedicates its STEM Lab. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Through “Project Lead the Way,” which is the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs, students in K5 through eighth grade will discover practical, hands-on uses for the information they’re studying in school.