American Gothic Catholic Church Design

Joseph Sibbel Sculpture



          Without doubt, one of the biggest benefits of researching church architecture is travelling to various cities to visit these sacred buildings and to offer up prayers of Thanksgiving for the blessings and opportunities given to me.  I've become quite good at organizing tours that enable me to visit several churches in a short period of time like my seven church tour in Brooklyn, NY when I photographed seven churches in one day and my seven church tour in Connecticut when I photographed seven churches in two days in Danbury, New Britain, and Waterbury, Connecticut.

           As the Roman Catholic Church decreases in size in the United States, many of these lovely churches are closing.    Some are being razed; some are being re-purposed; some are being redesigned in less than appealing ways.  I have made it my life's work to record as many of these churches as I can, traveling to photograph them and keeping a database of their architects, their locations, their dates, and their status.  My most recent book, American Gothic Catholic Church Design takes a look at the work of six major architects of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and contains lists of their work.  (Go to the Portal-Bookstore page to purchase a copy of this book.)

The Churches

St. Mary of the Mount Church

Pittsburgh, PA

Architect:  Fred C. Sauer


St. Joseph Cathedral

Wheeling, WV

Architect:  Edward Weber


St. Francis Xavier Church

St. Louis, MO

Architect:  Thomas Warying Walsh


Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

Architect: Leon Coquard


St. Agnes Church

Brooklyn, NY

Architect:  Thomas F. Houghton


Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption

Marietta, OH

Architect:  Emile M. Ulrich


St. Francis Xavier Church

Cincinnati, OH

Architect:  Francis G. Himpler


Holy Cross Church

New York, NY

Architect:  Henry Engelbert