Built St. Louis > > MidCentury Modernism > >

Resurrection of Our Lord Parish
3900 Meramec Street, St. Louis - south City
Architect: Murphy & Mackey, 1952

Stained Glass: Emil Frei Co.

Resurrection of Our Lord Church was a late-comer to this streetcar neighborhood in the heart of south City. Rising amid bugalows and brick workers cottages, its modern lines are a sharp break with the past.

Resurrection Church combines curved brick walls and green-blue tinted glass to beautiful effect. The plan is a parabola, with the solid walls drawing all focus to the altar during service. A domed skylight casts a cylinder of light into the sanctuary over the altar. The separate baptistry is illuminated in mute shades of blue by tinted glass.

Resurrection was second of a trio of Murphy-designed churches built in the early 1950s and decorated with Emil Frei stained glass, following St. Ann of Normandy and preceding St. Peter in Kirkwood. The boldy modern design was widely hailed in the popular, architectural and religious press; articles appeared in Architectural Forum, Architectural Record, Liturgical Arts, and a host of others.

Resurrection was closed ("suppressed" in church parlance) as of July 1 2005, and the parish folded into that of St. John the Baptist. The building is now in use by a Vietnamese Catholic congregation, who fill the church to overflowing on Sundays.

Gallery: Exterior

Gallery: Interior

The new Vietnamese congregation has made a few small but unsympathetic alterations to the building. The baptismal font, pictured here in 2005, once had simple chains and an abstract form atop its lid. These have been replaced by a fairly stock (and fairly kitch) statue of Mary.

The construction of a small stone grotto on the front lawn is also at odds with the clean, modern lines of the church.

Gallery: Exterior

See a complete gallery of the stained glass on the Emil Frei tour.

Continue touring > > >