Christ Memorial Episcopal Church

Hibbing, MN 55746

Builder: Henry Pilcher’s Sons (Opus: 1139, 1922)
Manuals: 2
Stops: 13

--Information from the Organ Historical Society Archive. Story and photo from the Cass Gilbert Society’s webpage. The church was built in 1896 and destroyed in 1945 by a mining company.
Last Update: 1/15/11

We have no further information about this organ or its condition. Any information you may have would be appreciated.  Please contact usat the address listed below. 
Christ Memorial Episcopal Church was built under the direction of Cass Gilbert's neighbor in St. Paul, Archdeacon Appleby, and was funded by a $3,500 gift from a New Yorker, Jane Schmelsel, given in memory of her father.  Gilbert went on to design the Woolworth Building in New York City and the Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC.

The design was inspired by Anglo-Saxon and Norman county churches.  Its notable feature was the squat, square, crenellated tower with a steep spire set on a considerably larger base.  The variety and placement of windows suggested the effect of an ancient building remodeled through the centuries.  The prominent chimney, with its crenellations matching those of the tower, was an anachronism, as English county churches were not heated, unlike their late nineteenth-century American counterparts where such amenities were a necessity.

Christ Memorial Episcopal Church was probably Gilbert's most ill-fated building.  Completed in 1896, it was disassembled in 1919, when Hibbing's open pit iron mine was expanded.  It was then reassembled on a new site about a mile to the south.  The new design was faithful to the original, except the building was raised above the ground to provide a usable basement.  Additionally, the entry porch, originally constructed of wood, was rebuilt in stone to match the rest of the building.  In 1945, the mine was again expanded and the church was again demolished. It was not rebuilt again.