Visitation – St. Ann’s Shrine


Update: The parish closed in 2016 and its famous Emil Frei & Associates stained glass windows were carefully removed by the Archdiocese. The building is now owned and cared for by the Apostles Church.

Designed by famed architect Thomas Barnett, the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation later added Holy Ghost and St. Ann within its walls. It was built in 1909 but the parish dates to 1882. Its ever expanding parish boundaries represent the severe depopulation of the western Ville and Lewis Place neighborhoods of Roman Catholics.


It is a beautiful church, in the English Gothic, which represents a change in St. Louis tastes away from German or French Gothic. Later, Italian architecture would take over in Southwest City.


Eschewing flying buttresses (which were never terribly popular in St. Louis anyway), the church instead possesses, rather ironically, a GermanHallkirche with attached buttresses and no transepts.


The rectory blends in well on the backside of the church.




Across the street, a fairly well-preserved row of buildings express a fascinating mix of setbacks, built over the decades. I assume the Roberts Funeral Chapel works in tandem with the church.


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