2023 - St. Peter's Edina


5421 France Ave. S.


St. Peter's Edina Church (ca. 1957) is the first church designed in Minnesota by internationally renowned architect Ralph Rapson (1914-2008). It's the only one he designed in the City of Edina and one of a handful in the state. The structure has undergone several additions and renovations over the decades, but still maintains its integrity and serves in the same capacity for which it was originally intended.

Initially, Pastor Harold Schweigert hired Rapson to expand a small, existing church, but opted instead to demolish the original building and design a new one. The unique "church-in-the-round" plan evolved for two reasons: site limitations did not permit a traditional long, rectangular nave, and a circular sanctuary with wrap-around seating suited the congregation's liturgical philosophy of the family of man gathered around the Lord's table. The church's star-shaped roof, which is composed of eight steeply pitched, glass-filled gables, is its most distinctive and recognizable feature. It represents a crown. The altar stands directly below the center of the star. For its singular design and enduring significance, the building received an AIAMN Honor Award in 1958 and an AIAMN 25-Year Award in 1983. 

Rapson, an influential architect and educator, received the commission in 1954, the year he moved to Minneapolis to head the school of architecture at the University of Minnesota, a position he held for 30 years. Prior to his arrival in the state, Rapson taught architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and designed American embassy buildings in Europe for the US State Department. Highlights of his long, prolific career include the original Tyrone Guthrie Theatre (1963) and Cedar-Riverside New Town-In Town (1973) in Minneapolis. 

St. Peter's Edina
St. Peter's Edina Inside