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Saint Raphael's Roman Catholic Cathedral

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1857–1859, John Mullany. 1878, tower. 231 Bluff St.

Saint Raphael's church is the third cathedral church by this name in Dubuque. It was designed by John Mullany, an Irishman who was trained in Augustus Welby Pugin's office in London before he came to the United States in 1847. He arrived in Dubuque in 1859, and immediately commenced the design and supervision of this Gothic Revival church. The building enjoys a dramatic location, right at the west end of 90-foot-wide Second Street. In design, the central tower is of the Gothic form. The building's most unusual feature is the lancet window at the base of the tower. There are two entrances at the side of the tower within the body of the building. In Mullany's original scheme these two entrance walls were to have terminated in their own gables, with high pinnacles at each of the corners. Mullany also had projected a tall, thin spire roof, but a more abridged 243foot-high square tower was eventually added in 1878. The stained glass windows, imported from England, were added in 1866, and the stations of the cross in 1890. The interior murals are by an Italian artist whose name is recorded as Gregori.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Saint Raphael's Roman Catholic Cathedral", [Dubuque, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Iowa, David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 84-84.

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