St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, Revisited

I visited and photographed St. Cecilia’s way back in April of 2011 when the sun was setting and I realized it was far past time to get some new pictures of the thriving parish which serves the Spanish speaking population of St. Louis after St. Francis de Sales converted into an oratory.

Like some many churches in St. Louis, it is really Gothic Revival in massing and form, but yet it has rounded Roman arch windows making it stylistically Romanesque Revival.

It has a giant rose window that is simple in design filled with stained glass.

The front portal is surmounted with a statue of St. Cecilia, who is the patron saint of music. The sculpture is inspired by the famous depiction by the Renaissance artist Raphael. In the painting, which you can see here, St. Cecilia and other saints are turning their heads away from their earthly instruments and listening to heavenly choirs above. It was popularized by a print made by Raphael’s printmaker Marcantonio Raimondi, so its influence spread throughout Europe.

The twin bell towers dominate this far southern end of Dutchtown.

The church is built in a standard cruciform design, with clear transepts and an apse.

The windows are also typical Romanesque in design, as well.

The large windows at the end of the apses are more akin to the Gothic than the Romanesque due to their large size.

The parish received two large additions in the Modernist style with a school to the north seen below and a rectory in the second picture below to the west.

The cornerstone is helpful, though it’s a little strange in that it is red granite that is very hard to read! The architect appears to be H.P. Hess and the general contractor was Charles C. Klost.

And the front, which had usually been in Latin or another European vernacular, was now written in English. The church was dedicated in 1926.

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