Built St. Louis > > Historic City Churches || Midtown > > St. Alphonsus Liguori

The Rock Church - April 2009, rebuilding nearly complete

St. Alphonsus Liguori

Also known as "the Rock Church", this building's stone spire looms prominently above Grand Avenue, the last landmark as Midtown gives way to the north side. The French Gothic building went up in 1873, with the 237-foot spire added 20 years later. A stone garden wall matches the materials of the building and provides a fortress-like fastness to the structure and its grounds.

Today it stands on a decrepit stretch of city streets, surrounded by fast food outlets and run-down housing -- but the church's congregation and leadership are working to rejuvenate their neighborhood today. Impressively, the church's congregation has expanded threefold in the last decade, as detailed on their web site.

In August 2007, the church's roof was set on fire by a lightning strike. The fire spread and soon destroyed much of the church's roof and interior. Fortunately the building was not a total loss, and rebuilding quickly began. All evidence of the destruction was soon removed and the church is back in service today. The most visible difference appears to be the absence of the small copper-clad rear spire that once stood above the crossing.

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