St. Irenaeus Catholic Church

Architectural Tour of Clinton

St. Irenaeus Catholic Church

Clinton, Iowa 52732, United States

Created By: Matt Parbs


St. Irenaeus Catholic Church, 2811 North 2nd Street; 1864-1865.Sited on a hillside, the church is of landmark stature. It is an exceptional example ofLocal limestone construction and design using Gothic Revival Style. The buildingIs constructed of limestone quarried from bluffs along the river north of town. TheStone was floated down the river on barges and hauled by horse carts to the site. The cornerstone was laid in 1864 by Bishop Smyth. The church design was inspired by the cathedral in the parish priest's (Father Frederick C. Jean) native home of Lyons, France. St. Irenaeus has twin towers with wood spire construction and engaged stone buttresses on the nave walls. The south and north spires are 166 feet and 136 feet high, respectively. The window arches are pointed and there is a rosette window in the front gable on the east. The main entrance in the church was originally on the east and the main entry level was reached via an exterior wood stair and porch. In 1906, the entry was relocated to the west façade where the site slope allowed the main level to coincide with grade. The nearby rectory was built in 1874 but now is altered in appearance.The church building was constructed on the site of a frame church that was built in 1856 and which had replaced an original 1852 church of brick. The original brick building was the first Catholic church in Clinton County.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Architectural Tour of Clinton


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