Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Florissant

Update: I went back and looked at the neighborhood around the church in greater depth in August of 2023, including National Register properties.

It’s a little difficult to photograph Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in the middle of downtown Florissant, but it is a fantastic example of Gothic Revival architecture, replacing the original church in 1893.

Apparently the spire remains from the old church; the parish was founded for German speaking immigrants, despite the French heritage of Florissant, originally known as St. Ferdinand. It was founded in 1866. It is not the oldest parish in the old common fields of North St. Louis County.

The architecture is distinctly German Gothic, but showing the influence of western Germany, where French Gothic influences show up in cathedrals such as Cologne.

The cornerstone says, “To the greater glory of God, The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

There is a beautiful and peaceful garden surrounding the church, and as is the case with most Roman Catholic churches in St. Louis, it is really a campus of multiple buildings, not just a house of worship.

The house in the background, with the jerkinhead roof looking like it has come straight out of Northern Europe, is the rectory.

The building below is the second parish school; it was replaced by a Modernist building that sits behind the red brick buildings and was built in the 1950s.

This building is one of the oldest, and I think dates to the 1860s, was the original school, and the became the convent when the second school was built. Like the old Shrine of St. Ferdinand, there is a bisymmetrical design to the campus, with flanking buildings on either side of the church.

There is a wonderful, well preserved neighborhood around the church. Originally taking up one block, it has expanded on to another block. There is little demolition for a wasteful parking lot, as we see so often happening in the mid Twentieth Century.

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