Nativity of Mary Parish Church - Janesville, WI
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member onfire4jesus
N 42° 41.121 W 089° 01.242
16T E 334455 N 4727853
Quick Description: The Nativity of Mary Parish Church is located at 313 Wall St. in Janesville. It was organized 1876 and the current building was built starting in 1900 and completed on June 14, 1902.
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 10/22/2007 11:43:49 AM
Waymark Code: WM2F0G
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 80

Long Description:

From the Parish web site:
"Nativity of Mary Parish began in the winter of 1876, forty years after Henry James established the original plat of the "village of Janesville" and built a log cabin on the east shore of the Rock River. It would be Janesville's second Catholic congregation. The first, St. Patrick Parish, begun in 1847, had grown beyond the capacity of their church building, and were experiencing financial difficulties. Early in 1876 a meeting was held to consider organizing a second parish in Janesville. On March 3rd, the land for St. Mary, eight rods square, was purchased for $580. On March 14, the contract for the building of a plain, frame church was let for the sum of $2,000. The first liturgy was offered there in July, and in September, Rev. John Stephen Muenich was installed as the first pastor. Membership in the new congregation swelled, and by November it was necessary to build an addition to the new church.

On August 17, 1883, Nativity of Mary congregation was incorporated under the laws of the State of Wisconsin. Rev. Robert Roche, who succeeded Rev. Muenich as pastor, began a fund to improve the church lot, decorate and furnish the priest's house and church, and purchase property for a school. It fell to his successor, Rev. W.A. Goebel, to undertake the building of a new church to accommodate the increasing congregation. Under his supervision, and the plans by architects Frank Kemp and Fred Roesling, Sr., work began in the fall of 1900 on a new church, to be built in the High Victorian Gothic style. The completed building was dedicated by Bishop Muldoon of Chicago on June 14, 1902. Janesville's historic chronicle of that year described the new St. Mary Church as "by far the most imposing and handsomest church building in the city. Situated on a prominent section of the city, on high ground, its beautiful design and tall steeple add to the beauty of Janesville's architecture".

It was indeed a magnificent structure. The outside of the church, which boasted 21 inch thick walls and a steeple which soared over 200 feet into the air, was constructed of Waukesha limestone foundation and pressed brick, which consumed the entire supply of brick in the brick yard. Inside, the church auditorium with its arched ceiling, gas and electric brass lights, oak pews, pillars of onyx and Italian marble and antique stained windows, invoked the beauty of a cathedral. Although the church was considered too large when it was built, within six months it was filled almost to capacity.

Type of Church: Church

Status of Building: Actively in use for worship

Date of organization: 01/01/1876

Date of building construction: 06/14/1902

Dominant Architectural Style: High Victorian Gothic

Associated Shrines, Art, etc.: St. Mary's school

Archdiocese: Milwaukee

Diocese: Madison

313 Wall St
Janesville, WI USA

Relvant Web Site: [Web Link]

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onfire4jesus visited Nativity of Mary Parish Church - Janesville, WI 10/6/2007 onfire4jesus visited it

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