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Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church

Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church sits in the dense neighborhood of Soulard, and sometimes falls off my radar because of the busy traffic that flies by on its rear on South 7th Street. But I love how it rises above the city and cane be seen all over the South Riverfront, which is mostly low-slung buildings, vacant lots and parking lots.

The church was restored back in the 1950s or 60s, I don’t remember exactly when, and I always chuckle when I look at the front facade, as they painted the quoins on the corner black, as they mistakenly, or for acquired aesthetic believed they were originally like that. In reality, the stone held on to the coal soot more than the rest of the stone exterior walls.

The bell tower, likewise, was also built later, which is very common in St. Louis, as it is clearly built of a different and probably higher quality stone. Railroad connections opened up new quarries, particularly after the Civil War.

The back of the church faces South 7th Boulevard, not Broadway, as the widening of major trafficways in the early Twentieth Century did not always stick to the old streets exactly. Broadway is one block to the east here, and is broken up by sections that are closed to traffic.

The church, like the vast majority in St. Louis in the Gothic Revival style, does not have flying buttresses, but are engaged with the walls of the nave and transepts.

The rectory around back is built of red brick, and offers an interesting contrast to the church building.

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