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St. Martin of Tours, Lemay

Dominating the intersection of Ripa Avenue and Telegraph Road, St. Martin of Tours represents a moment in St. Louis architecture where tradition was beginning to evolve into innovation.

While the church’s massing and design is certainly modernist, the stonework almost seems to be harkening back to an earlier age.

The bell tower is perhaps the most striking feature of the church, and can be seen from far up and down Telegraph Road.

Back in the 1950’s no element of design was forgotten, as the matching bus shelter attests.

It almost seems like the church was introducing the public to more radical modernist designs, but did so slowly and over the construction of several churches, slowly acclimating the people to the new style of modernism becoming popular around the world.

The stonework around the round windows are of particular interest to me; the stone laying is very old fashioned, even though this is a modernist church.

3 Comments

  1. Hey! You took one of my recommendations. LOL! This was my grade school growing up from 1st-8th grade. It's definately an impressive church. If you ever get a chance to go insde just to see how incredibly massive the sanctuary is and all the modern detailing they put into the interior, definately take some pics. You'll have to excuse the partial remodel they did about 10-12 years ago (cant remember when exactly). I haven't been in for quite a few years being the good Catholic that I am, but all they really did if my memory serves me right is they removed the communion rail, painted the walls that are now white instead of the old off-white grayish color, and the biggest change which I thought was slightly unfortunate was the back wall behind the alter that had quite the impressive mural on it. They completely tore that out and expanded the sanctuary back making the alter more like an island. Everything inside is stone though except the furniture obviously and definately defines a modern minimalist feeling down-playing every detail including the usual prominent centerpieces such as the Choir area / organ.

  2. It seems like attendance has declined since you attended the church; while a nearby church was packed for mass at 4:00 PM, St. Martin only had a handful of people. I wonder about its future.

  3. Don’t count this church out! New Pastor, Fr. Noah Waldman is a great example of God’s caring for his people. Homilies with a message, with bits of humor are always something to remember…a word, a phrase or even part of the story.
    For a wonderful experience…visit St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in lemay.

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