It was one of the most iconic buildings on the landscape of downtown Milwaukee. Now, much of it sits in ruins.
The roof of Trinity Lutheran Church on North 9th Street and West Highland Avenue is essentially gone with much more extensive damage as well after a fire that tore through the building Tuesday.
Yet Mayor Tom Barrett praised fire crews which extinguished much of the four-alarm fire within 75 minutes.
"I have to take my hat off to the firefighters, about 85 firefighters who were there who did a magnificent job," said Mayor Barrett on WTMJ's Steve Scaffidi Show.
"It was really a quick-spreading fire and they did a really good job."
Barrett said that as the fire began, he was sitting with the man who would lead the charge for extinguishing and controlling the fire.
Salute to Service: Inside the battle Milwaukee firefighters waged at Trinity Church fire
"I was in a meeting with the fire chief at that time. It was in the meeting when his phone started blowing up," said the Mayor.
"The fact they were able to get so many firefighters there so quickly was very, very impressive."
PHOTOS: Trinity Lutheran before the fire
Nobody was hurt during the fire which Barrett said could have spread very quickly beyond the church, but 'it didn't because of the professionalism" of firefighters.
Yet like so many members of the church and others in the Milwaukee community, he mourns the state of the 140-year-old structure.
"It's such a beautiful church. You look at it now and think 'I don't know what's going to happen next,' " lamented Barrett.
"You're coming out of downtown right there and going up a hill...it starts forming its own neighborhood. It was an iconic building for the whole city."