St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church, South Side of Peoria

Due to heavy demolition of the South Side, or Near South Side of Peoria in the mid to late Twentieth Century, the remaining churches in the area south of downtown are easy to spot, notwithstanding their spires, as I noted in regards to St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church back in September of 2019.

The stunning Romanesque/Baroque Revival edifice of St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church is no different; I spotted it from blocks away and was drawn to its unique design.

It’s an interesting mix of styles; while there are certainly elements of the Romanesque, it is certainly not so simple–the presence of rounded arch windows does not make it so easy. And it is not at all Byzantine Revival, as stated in one source. The ornament is more akin to the reform of ecclesiastic architecture in the mid-Sixteenth Century, with the wide use of pilasters on the side of the church and the front façade.

It is not flamboyant Baroque as you would see the in the work of Gianlorenzo Bernini, but calm and collected Classicizing architecture that developed in tandem with that more famous sculptor and architect.

The parish has an interesting story and is active in supporting and responding to the needs of its community, which is open and honest about the widespread poverty and neglect that took over in the mid-Twentieth Century.

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