Marquette-Cherokee


Churches

The oldest Roman Catholic Church in the area is that of St. Anthony of Padua at Meramec Street and Michigan Avenue. This parish was founded in 1863 by the Franciscan Fathers in connection with their monastery. First services were held in a frame house belonging to John Withnell, who presented the order with the land upon which their buildings are now located. The stone Gothic church was completed in its final form in 1869 at a cost of $56,000, previously services were held in the sanctuary of the monastery since 1865. The parochial schools were opened in 1870 and two years later the monastery was enlarged into a theological seminary. The present brick Romanesque church was begun in 1910 after designs by Brother Anselm Wolff. The church has twin spires 175 feet in height flanking a central gable outlined with Bedford limestone, which is used as architectural trim on the building's exterior. The interior features an altar of onyx and gold, fine frescoes, paintings and stained glass windows.

The adjacent St. Anthony's High School was erected in 1922, followed by the present monastery in 1931 and the parochial school in 1962.

The parish of St. Thomas of Aquin was organized in 1832 by a group of English speaking members of St. Anthony's parish where the services were conducted in German. The congregation worshiped in the chapel of Alexian Brothers Hospital until their church was finished in 1883. The edifice, at Osage Street and Iowa Avenue, was built in the Gothic style at a cost of $12,000. Its steeple was demolished in the tornado of 1896 and was not replaced. St. Thomas parochial school was conducted on the ground floor of Maryville College until 1916 when a school building was erected on the convent grounds. The present school at 4021 Iowa Avenue was opened in 1932 and is conducted by the Sisters of St. Joseph. St. Cecilia's parish was organized by Rev. Bernard J. Renten in October, 1906, with a mixed German and Irish membership. A combination church and school structure was opened in January, 1908. Erection of the present Romanesque style church was started in 1926 and it was dedicated by Archbishop Glennon in February, 1927. Its facade is flanked by two towers of varying height on a structure of brick with stone trim. The interior is notable for its fine mosaic work done by the Emil Frei studio and its ornate Italian marble altars. The church was designed by Henry P. Hess at a cost of $300,000.

In 1959, the adjacent St. Cecilia's parochial school was completed.

The parish of St. Pius the Fifth was founded in 1905 by Rev. John Lyons. The present church at 3304 South Grand Boulevard at Utah Street, was dedicated in 1917. The church is built of white Carthage stone in the 16th century Renaissance style. It is notable for its graceful campanile and its sculptured entrance and pediment. The accompanying school and rectory have facades in the same style as the church, whose white walls contrast with its red Spanish tile roof. The nave is spanned by a barrel vault ceiling with the side aisles separated by arched colonnades. Art glass windows pierce the clerestory and the semi-circular apse is surmounted by a half-dome. The relief sculptures on the facade are the work of sculptor Victor Holm. Architect for the church group was J. Sidney Lee.

St. Hedwig's church at 3202 Pulaski Street was the third Polish parish that was created in St. Louis. It was founded in 1904 by Rev. Victor Stepka at Compton Avenue and Hiawatha (Pulaski) Street. A combination structure, used as a church, school and parsonage was dedicated on March 26, 1905. At that time the parish contained 150 Polish families with a school enrollment of 154 students. The church was enlarged in 1906 by Rev. Simon J. Zielinski. The present church at the northwest corner of Compton Avenue and Itaska Street was completed in 1957. The convent is located at 3219 Itaska.

One of the earliest Protestant churches in this area is Holy Cross Lutheran, which was organized in 1858. Services were held in the Concordia College building on South Jefferson Avenue until 1867, when the church was completed on Miami Street between Texas and Ohio Avenues. Its site had been the old Holy Cross graveyard, which was relocated near Gravois Road. The church had a capacity of 500 persons and was designed in the Gothic style with a steeple 175 feet in height. This steeple was destroyed by the tornado of 1896 and was replaced by the present spire. English services were introduced there in 1909 and by 1933 the membership had increased to 1,825. The parochial day school was founded in 1850 and its present building was completed in 1914. In the following year the Holy Cross Hall on Texas Avenue was opened.

The Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer was formed in 1892 to provide an English speaking congregation for south St. Louis. The new mission held its services in Holy Cross Hall until 1893 when it removed to Anchor Hall at Jefferson and Park Avenues. In 1894 the congregation was organized as a church and occupied a chapel at California and Juniata in 1897. This was sold to St. Andrew's Evangelical Church in 1901, when Our Redeemer Church erected a chapel on its present site at Utah Street and Oregon Avenue. This vicinity was sparsely settled then but an influx of population created a need for larger quarters. Erection of the present church began in 1908 under architect August Foell. The $45,000 structure was dedicated in January, 1909. Three years later an adjoining parsonage and church hall was completed. A parochial school was started in 1897 but was later discontinued because of a lack of teachers. The children were then sent to nearby Holv Cross school.

St. Matthew's United Church of Christ at 3457 South Jefferson Avenue was organized in 1875 in private school rooms on South Broadway near Anna Street. In 1876 this Evangelical congregation occupied a church at 3331 South Seventh Street. The present church at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Potomac Street was built in 1888 and is adjoined by a parochial school building. Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church at 2621 Utah Street was organized as the Westminster Church in 1873 in rooms at 3500 South Broadway. In 1876, the church occupied a frame structure at Pestalozzi and James (now 18th) Streets. The present church was built in 1898 at a cost of $17,000, largely due to a $10,000 bequest by Colonel John Curby in memory of his daughter. At that time the church received its present name.

The Winnebago Presbyterian Church was founded as a mission of the First German (later Peters Memorial) Church in 1897. A small chapel was dedicated in January, 1898, at Winnebago Street and Tennessee Avenue. The church was formally organized in 1902 with 52 charter members. In 1905 the manse was built on an adjoining lot. The surrounding neighborhood developed rapidly after the World's Fair providing an incentive for the church to plan for the future. In 1910 the first unit of the present church was built and continued growth made additional space necessary. To achieve the space for continued expansion, the manse was moved to a lot on the northwest corner of Tennessee and Winnebago in 1921. Then the basement of the present church was completed on the southwest corner of the intersection. This was used for services until October, 1931, when the auditorium was dedicated. The building is built in a modified Gothic style and represents an investment of $120,000. The Jewel Baptist Church, which has been located at 4657 South Grand Boulevard since 1936, was first located at 4720 Virginia Avenue from 1918 until 1923. It moved to 3223 Osceola Street in 1924 and remained there until 1935, when it occupied its present building.

Among other Protestant churches in the Marquette-Cherokee area are the Southeide Baptist Church at 3514 Oregon at Potomac, whose church was built in 1965, the Wurdack Memorial Presbyterian, built in 1962 at 4919 Minnesota, and the Fifth Church of Christ Scientist built in 1920 at 3448 Potomac Street.