St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Revisited

I was in Bevo, driving down Delor, and I spotted St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, which I sometimes forget about because it is tucked away back in the neighborhood. I’d photographed it back in July of 2013, and the light was not very good. This day it was much better.

Like a traditional Lombard Romanesque Revival church, the windows are small, there’s red tile roofing, and there’s ample use of terracotta accents among the buff brick.

We’ve seen churches like this in Milan, Italy, and they can be seen in other cities such as Cremona, Parma and elsewhere north of the Apennine Mountains and west of the Veneto.

The campanile is typical of bell towers built from the Eleventh century onward in Italy.

Below, these almost Baroque buttresses are intriguing, and probably not needed structurally.

The front façade has that severe Lombard appearance that I enjoy but that is often overshadowed by more famous Renaissance architecture in Italy.

The front portal with its gilded mosaic is also a nice touch, with the Romanesque feature of the blind windows.

It’s interesting that the inscription is in English at this point in St. Louis ecclesiastic history.

The Corinthian column capital, apparently rendered in terracotta, flanks the portal.

The two side portals are flanked with Corinthian pilasters, and are much more restrained than the central, main entrance.

 

The A.M.D.G. is surely the abbreviation for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, which means “For the Greater Glory of God,” both the motto of the Society of Jesus and sometimes used as a dedicatory inscription for churches.

The rectory continues the same architectural theme, though is simplified in design.

The parish still has a grade school, from what I understand, but the high school has closed. There are multiple school buildings on the campus.

The bollard for the entrance into the school is inscribed with the Latin phrase Pro Deo et Patria, which means “For God and the Fatherland,” though since the 1940s for obvious reasons we tend to translate that latter noun as “Country” or “Nation.”

A Modernist wing was constructed along Newport Avenue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.