St. Joseph’s serves a parish founded in 1857 whose earliest members were mostly of German origin. Replacing a Gothic Revival structure, this Spanish Colonial Revival church was built during the pastorate of Father (later Monsignor) Peter M. H. Wynhoven, who founded the Hope Haven and Madonna Manor Homes (JE6) for children in Marrero, also Spanish Colonial Revival in style. The church’s stuccoed-brick facade and bell tower are almost identical to Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue’s design for the California Building at the Panama-California Exposition of 1915–1916 in San Diego. Ornamentation covers the center of the facade in a dense, high-relief composition incorporating scalloped-arched openings, twisted columns, foliate vines, angels, a sculpted head of Christ, and a continuous band of shell-shaped motifs surrounding the round-arched entrance; above the upper window, shallow niches hold a row of statues of saints. The outer sections of the facade are unadorned, intensifying the impact of the ornament. The entire facade is framed by a scalloped parapet which climbs from the outer edges to the taller center in a series of reverse curves and is decorated along the top with ball-shaped urns. A round-arched open arcade extends along each side of the church. The square tower is at the rear of the church rather than beside the facade, as in Goodhue’s scheme, and its upper section rises to a pair of setbacks, with a small cupola above. The church’s nave has a barrel vault with transverse arches, and a half-dome defines the apse; the interior is modest in its decoration.
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St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
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