St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church

I came back by St. Vincent de Paul, which I had last photographed back in almost exactly six years ago (last picture). As luck would have it, the doors were open, so I was able to go inside the George I. Barnett-designed church, which is an excellent example of Neo-Classical architecture before Gothic Revival took over in ecclesiastic buildings in St. Louis.

Richard Henry Fuhrmann, St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, Southwest Corner Decatur and Park, Missouri History Museum, P0764-00735-4a

Sadly, the façade now faces Interstates 55 and 44, and is robbed of its original context.

The interior is beautiful, with the paint restored and the clean lines of the Neo-Classical style evident in columns and compressed arches and vaults.

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Interior, Photograph by Emil Boehl, 1890s, Missouri History Museum, N40529

Over the crossing is a squat dome depicting Christ’s Ascension, with the Four Evangelists and their corresponding quartet of symbols accompanying them.

The exterior, with its Roman arches, reminds me of St. Mary of Victories, in Chouteau’s Landing. St. Vincent’s is one of the oldest churches in St. Louis.

I find the bell tower fascinating; perhaps it was inspired by the ancient Pharos of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

I also wonder if the front façade was added on later; look at the parapet wall about fifteen feet back from the front to the left.

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