St Ignatius Loyola Church
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Saint Ignatius Loyola Church
703 East Houghton Avenue, Houghton - Houghton County
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use RELIGION/religious facility
Style Late Victorian
Architect/Builder E. Brielmaier and Sons
Narrative Description St. Ignatius Loyola Church is a Neo-Gothic structure of rock-face, red, Jacobsville sandstone perched on the hillside above the central part of the City of Houghton. Transepts and an apse terminate the end of the gable-roof nave, while the church's symmetrical facade focuses on a square-plan, spire-topped tower which projects from the center of the facade between a lower, pyramid-roof tower on either side. The belfry contains a single brass bell cast in 1860 by the Jones and Hitchcock Company of Troy, New York. The tower gable trim and the ten crosses set atop the spire and various gables and points on the roof are of copper. The stained glass windows were made by the Gavin Art Glass Works of Milwaukee and installed by 1907. A large, boxy, glassed-in portico, added in 1928 and nominally Gothic in style, protects the long flights of stairs leading to the front entrances from the weather. An addition was made to the rear of the church between 1959 and 1964.
Statement of Significance St. Ignatius Loyola Church, built between 1898 to 1902 to replace an original 1859 church, reflects the rapid growth of the ethnically diverse Catholic population in Houghton triggered by the consolidation of copper mining and processing activity in the Portage Lake mining district in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. St. Ignatius Loyola Church is a major work of the Milwaukee architectural firm of E. Brielmaier and Sons, who designed numerous Catholic churches in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Marker Name St. Ignatius Loyola Church
Marker Text ST. IGNATIUS LOYOLA CHURCH The roots of the Catholic Church in the Portage Lake area are associated with Bishop Frederic Baraga, the "Snowshoe Priest," who dedicated the original St. Ignatius Loyola Church on July 31, 1859. Before the erection of that building, Catholics in Houghton worshipped in a boarding house and later a school. The present structure was completed in 1902, after four years of construction, under the direction of Father Anton Ivan Rezek. Father (later Monsignor) Rezek came as pastor in 1895 and remained in that position for fifty-one years. One of the most imposing edifices in Houghton, St. Ignatius Loyola Church features rock-faced sandstone facades. Beautiful stained-glass windows and an elaborate Gothic altar adorn the breathtaking interior.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) Built 1898-1902
Registry Type(s) 07/24/1979 Marker erected
08/03/1987 National Register listed
12/08/1977 State Register listed
Site ID# P23265