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St. Edward Catholic Church

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1923, Lambert de Konning. 407 Beech St.

The first Catholic church in Texarkana, Sacred Heart, was built on the Texas side in 1874 on land donated by the Texas Pacific Railroad. In 1903 parishioners living on the Arkansas side of town petitioned Bishop Edward Fitzgerald to form a church of their own. For the first few months Mass was held in a courtroom in the Miller County Courthouse until the first church, a fame Gothic Revival edifice, could be completed. Some twenty years later, the present church, clad in brown brick with limestone trim, was constructed under the supervision of de Konning, an architect and builder as well as a member of St. Edward’s. Raised on a high basement and reached by a steep, divided staircase, the church soars over the surrounding neighborhood. Augmenting its verticality and dominating the balanced facade are twin hexagonal towers capped with domical roofs. Hints of a Renaissance Revival mode are seen in the round-arched windows and the wide pediments carried on narrow pilasters that appear over the main doorway, crowning the central section, and on the towers. A prominent limestone stringcourse wraps the entire building, countering the towers’ verticality. Many of the interior appointments are original and of exceptional quality, including several stained glass memorial windows, the twenty-one-foot-high altar, and the communion rail of Carrara marble inset with mosaic bands. A new entrance foyer with elevator was added on the north side in 1996. St. Edward’s congregation made a deliberate outreach to the Vietnamese who settled in the area in the 1970s; a similarly successful outreach to Hispanics in the early 1990s has resulted in a vibrant multiethnic church community.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors
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Citation

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "St. Edward Catholic Church", [Texarkana, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-MI4.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 183-184.

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