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Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church

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1921, William L. Steele. Southeast corner of S. 13th St. and 2nd Ave. S.

The Sacred Heart Church was designed some five years after the Woodbury County Courthouse in Sioux City. As was generally true with all of the exponents of the Prairie school, Steele turned to the use of historic imagery after World War I. In the case of this church, the southern European Romanesque was Steele's prime point of reference, but he did not abandon a number of Prairie stylistic elements that he had utilized in the teens. The series of setbacks on the upper reaches of the corner tower have far more to do with Bertram G. Goodhue's then-current work than with the European Romanesque. So too the repeated patterns of elongated arches supported by elongated pilasters, and especially the service section of the church at the rear, look back to the earlier Prairie school designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Burley Griffin, and Purcell and Elmslie. A similar Prairie-style abstraction of the Romanesque is found inside the church.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church", [Fort Dodge, 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, 392-393.

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