Bethlehem Lutheran

Askov, MN

Built by a small Danish immigrant community in 1914, the Gothic Revival tower of Bethlehem Lutheran stands apart in the skyline of Askov, Minnesota. The architectural design and interior decoration are accredited to Jes Smidt–a Danish immigrant and noted woodworker whose work spans 8 states in primarily Danish Lutheran churches. In 1980, the church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the historically intact sanctuary represents a significant example of folk art by Smidt.

Bethlehem Lutheran applied for matching funds through the Nordic Heritage Churches Project in order to address flooding issues in the basement. The basement served as a gathering space for members and guests, as well as storage for the church’s collections of historical documentation. In 2018, Bethesda Lutheran was approved for a grant award for $7,650 to support their work to improve drainage and prevent further flooding in the basement. The completed project created a drainage route along the walls of the basement and installed a drainage system with sump pumps to remove incoming water.

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