Sacred Spaces of Pietro Belluschi Tour

Restore Oregon Modernism invites you to embark on a journey through time as you visit Pietro Belluschi’s modernism influence on several of Portland's iconic Sacred Spaces. Through a lecture and tour of five Belluschi-designed churches, attendees can delve into the life and works of this esteemed architect, renowned for his pioneering contributions to Northwest Regional Modernism.

This self-guided tour showcases Belluschi’s departure from traditional church architecture norms and embrace of Northwest Regional Modernism through his emphasis on simplicity, functionality, and integration with the surrounding landscape, setting a new standard for architectural aesthetics. His architectural legacy continues to inspire and shape Oregon's built environment, leaving an indelible mark on its identity.

Join Restore Oregon Modernism as we celebrate Pietro Belluschi's 125th birth anniversary with a mesmerizing tour of several of his sacred spaces throughout Portland. From the iconic Central Lutheran Church to the serene Chapel of Christ the Teacher, experience Belluschi’s innovative vision and timeless elegance. In addition, experience the intersection of art and architecture through the artistry of Frederic Littman and Leroy Setziol.







Photo of Pietro Belluschi.
1899 - 1994

About Pietro Belluschi

Pietro Belluschi (1899-1994) was a revered architect celebrated for his pioneering contributions to Northwest Regional Modernism. Born in Ancona, Italy, he made Portland his home, crafting timeless designs that integrated local materials, such as wood and rock, into elegant structures. Notable works include the Portland Art Museum and the Equitable Building. 

Belluschi's influence extended far beyond Oregon, as he served as the Dean of Architecture at MIT and chaired numerous design juries, including that of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. His legacy lives on through iconic buildings such as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco. Restore Oregon is delighted to showcase Belluschi’s design prowess and enduring impact on Pacific Northwest architecture through this delightful tour of his Portland-area churches.


About the Tour

Explore Pietro Belluschi’s architectural legacy on a captivating self-guided tour celebrating his 125th birth anniversary. Delve into the life and works of this esteemed architect, renowned for his pioneering contributions to Northwest Regional Modernism. Born in Italy in 1899, Belluschi's journey led him to Portland, Oregon, where he left an indelible mark on the cityscape and beyond.

Embark on a journey through time as you visit iconic sacred spaces meticulously crafted by Belluschi. Central Lutheran Church, a testament to early Pacific Northwest Modern church architecture, showcases his departure from conventional design norms with innovative features like relocated entrances and expressive use of materials.

This self-guided tour will cover:

  • St. Philip Neri Catholic Church:
    A cherished sanctuary steeped in history, where Belluschi's modern vision breathed new life into traditional worship spaces. Witness the evolution of St. Philip Neri's interior, reflecting the community's vibrant spirit and commitment to inclusive worship.
  • Zion Lutheran Church:
    Immerse yourself in Belluschi's mastery of simplicity and functionality. Marvel at the structural ingenuity of wooden beams and the interplay of light through stained glass, creating a serene ambiance conducive to spiritual reflection.
  • Chapel of Christ the Teacher at the University of Portland:
    A testament to Belluschi's reverence for Oregon's natural beauty, the church is adorned with native materials and intricate woodwork. This spiritual haven embodies harmony and unity, inviting all to contemplate within its sacred walls.
  • Murray Hills Christian Church:
    Belluschi's architectural brilliance shines through the interplay of light and space. From its distinctive cupola to vibrant stained glass, every detail reflects the community's shared faith and sense of belonging.
  • Central Luthern Church:
    Constructed in 1950 and designated a historic site by the city of Portland in 1976, Central Lutheran Church is an outstanding example of early Pacific Northwest Modern church architecture. It reflects Belluschi’s intentional departure from 19th—and early 20th-century church design conventions.

As you explore these architectural treasures, discover the artistry of Frederic Littman and Leroy Setziol, whose contributions enrich Belluschi's designs with timeless elegance. Join us in celebrating Pietro Belluschi's enduring legacy, where innovation meets tradition, shaping the landscape of Oregon and inspiring generations to come.


Sacred Spaces: Intersection of Art and Architecture 

Pietro Belluschi collaborated with artists Frederic Littman and Leroy Setziol to infuse his architectural designs with artistic elements. Their partnership enriched Belluschi's creations, blending structural elegance with artistic expression. Together, they created spaces that seamlessly integrated architecture and art, leaving a lasting legacy of beauty and innovation.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to experience artwork by Frederic Liftman and Leroy Setziol:

About Fredric Littman: Born in Hungary in 1907, Frederic Littman is credited with reviving the art of sculpture in Oregon. Prior to his 1941 arrival in Portland, working sculptors were a rarity in Oregon. Littman broke that trend, then spent roughly 40 years creating both public and private art, teaching, and building a lasting legacy as a Pacific Northwest artist.

About Leroy Setziol:  Born in 1915, Leroy Setziol was one of the most recognized and prolific wood sculptors in the Pacific Northwest. He carved hundreds of wooden artworks throughout the course of his lengthy career, many of which now belong to private collectors. Among his more prominent public works are the grouping of 13 hand-carved teak panels that adorn the Salishan Coastal Lodge in Gleneden Beach, commissioned by the architect John Storrs, and the ornate black walnut entrance doors and exterior columns that adorn Belluschi's Chapel of Christ the Teacher on the University of Portland campus.

Sacred Spaces of Pietro Belluschi:

Lecture at Central Lutheran Church

In honor of the 125th anniversary of Pietro Belluschi’s birth "year", join us at Central Lutheran Church for an informative presentation by Pietro’s son, architect Anthony Belluschi, who will discuss his father’s unique approach to designing places of worship. Also speaking will be architect William C. Tripp, who oversaw the renovation of Central Lutheran Church.

The Speakers

Anthony Belluschi, FAIA


About Anthony Belluschi, FAIA

Anthony Belluschi has over 50 years of national and international experience in the planning and conceptual design of large-scale commercial, office, residential and mixed-use developments 

for owners, developers and design firms.  He has worked on or completed major projects in 25 states and 15 countries overseas.

In 1984, Tony founded Anthony Belluschi Architects in Chicago.  The firm designed significant projects and won numerous design awards including from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). 

In 2003, Tony formed Belluschi Consulting, an international architectural consulting practice.  Then, in 2012 he returned from Chicago to his hometown of Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Marti.

In recent years, in addition to commercial and educational design work, Tony has frequently been involved with residential projects.  His work on Mid-Century Modern homes includes several in Oregon designed by his father, Pietro Belluschi FAIA.

He is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).  Currently he is on the Board of Governors of the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland. In 2003, in San Diego, Belluschi was honored with fellowship in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA).

William Tripp, Tripp Architecture


About William Tripp

William Tripp is a Portland architect, artist and teacher.  Bill received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon in 1978 and did graduate work at Princeton University. His research has been recognized with a Fulbright Award, the Ion Lewis Fellowship and a Van Evera Bailey Fellowship.

After working for some of Portland’s major architectural firms Bill opened his own office in 1991.  His practice is dedicated to the design of houses, churches, urban spaces, theater sets, and memorials.  The search for meaning in human experience and its expression in the design of ritual space is a common thread running through his work.

Notable projects include the remodel of Pietro Belluschi’s Central Lutheran Church; the art exhibition system for Alvar Aalto’s Mt. Angel Abby Library; the WWII Memorial competition entry; and the Packer Residence.

In addition to his professional practice, Bill has taught design, theory, and drawing at Oregon School of Design, Portland State University and at the University of Oregon where he was director of the Portland Summer Studio program.  He is a guest speaker on the work of Alvar Aalto; architectural drawing; ritual space; and contemporary issues of architectural practice.


Sacred Spaces of Pietro Belluschi

In honor of the 125th anniversary of architect Pietro Belluschi’s birth, Restore Oregon invites you to tour four Portland-area Belluschi-designed churches, plus view metalwork and carvings by artists Frederic Littman and Leroy Setziol.


Lecture at Central Lutheran Church


Date: May 9, 2024

6:15 pm doors open to allow visitors to tour the church
7:00 pm Lecture begins

LocationCentral Lutheran Church
1820 NE 21st Ave, Portland

Ticket: $25

Sacred Spaces Tour


Date: May 11, 2024

Time: 11:00 am - 5pm

Location: Self-Driving

Ticket: $50

*Included in Modernist Society Membership


Join Restore Oregon’s Modernist Society Membership!

For modernism enthusiasts who want to enjoy this tour and the entire Restore Oregon Modernism collection of private and public events, Restore Oregon offers the Modernist Society membership for only $250 per year (that’s just about $20 a month). Click here to learn more or join today.


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