Saints Mary and Joseph Roman Catholic Church

Saints Mary and Joseph Roman Catholic Church dates back to 1821, growing along with what at the time was the independent town of Carondelet. I looked at the church briefly way back in August of 2012 when the school next door was being demolished. It turns out that there was another church in this spot that was demolished for the current church, which transformed from being a parish into a chapel in 2005.

Sts. Mary and Joseph Church, Photograph by Father Henericks, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS MO,96-SALU,28-

It’s an interesting church in that it’s not the standard traditional style I associate with Roman Catholic buildings in St. Louis, being a sort of rustic English Gothic style of architecture.

The greatest amount of ornament can be found in the tripartite front portals, where the columns and capitals are sculpted in great detail.

The grapes of course represent the wine in the Eucharist from the Last Supper.

Heavy copper sheets protect the back of the façade from water infiltration.

If there was one benefit of the school building being torn down, it is that there are now wide open vistas to view the whole side of the church with its bell tower.

Like in many English cathedrals, such as at Salisbury, there appears to be a double transept, or perhaps they are just side chapels and the transept is pushed far to the back and the apse is extremely compressed to the point of barely existing.

The windows are small for a Gothic structure.

The bell tower reminds me of English Norman architecture.

I like how the rectory has a porch that would provide views out over the Mississippi River, which is only a half mile at most from the church.

The massive retaining wall around the entire complex is one of my favorites with its crosses pressed into the wet concrete.

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