The Annunciation Greek Orthodox parish was incorporated in 1904 as one of the first ten Greek Orthodox parishes in the United States. After originally renting space in Milwaukee for worship in 1914 an impressive brick basilica style Church was built on Broadway and Knapp in downtown Milwaukee. The parish was the center of the Greek community, but the politics in Greece after World War I caused a split and formation of a second parish in Milwaukee St. Constantine and Helen in 1922.
The Annunciation parish installed pews in 1923 and the male and female parishioners began to sit together instead of on either side of the Church. A choir was formed and an organ used for accompaniment. At the time these practices were groundbreaking for Greek Orthodox parishes and have become common practice today. The community decided that the parish population was moving away from downtown into the western suburbs and searched for a new location for the parish. They decided on land on the corner of 92nd St. and Grantosa on the edge of border of city of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa WI. This is where the new Church was constructed.
The new Church of the Annunciation was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956 and had a building cost of $1.5 million dollars completed in 1961 after the famous Architect’s death. It is entirely formed of re-enforced concrete and has a seating capacity of over 800 people. The lower level houses the Chapel, former Offices and Fellowship areas. It is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
In 2004, the James W. Pihos Cultural Center was built. The Cultural Center houses the Grand Hall, St. Iakovos Chapel, administration offices, class rooms, media room, board room and a master kitchen. It is utilized continuously by all of our fellowship groups.
In the 1970’s and early 1980’s our parish leaders recognized the need to provide safe, convenient and affordable housing oprtions for our senior citizens. Our Church was granted a federal subsidy for the Greek Orthodox Manor in 1982 and construction was completed in the summer of 1984. Since then we have had a wonderful home for our senior citizens to live that is safe, close to friends and family and Church activities.