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St. Catherine of Genoa Church

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1907–1920, Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan. 179 Summer St.
  • St. Catherine of Genoa Church (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

St. Catherine of Genoa is a seminal building in the development of early-twentieth-century American Roman Catholic church architecture. With its sand gray brick and glazed terra-cotta exterior, St. Catherine became a paradigm for the propagation of the Italian Lombardian style. Charles D. Maginnis advocated this style for its association with Early Christian architecture and for the design possibilities and economy of using brick rather than more costly stone. Based on Byzantine precedents, the lavish eclectic interior contains premier examples of liturgical arts—stucco and terra-cotta modeling by Hugh Cairns, woodwork by Irving and Casson, Stations of the Cross by Angelo Lualdi, sanctuary paintings by Alexander Locke, and pulpit and pictorial panels carved in low relief by Johannes Kirchmayer. The supreme artistry reflects the architect's leadership role as founding member of the Catholic Federation of Arts; the Liturgical Arts Society; and the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "St. Catherine of Genoa Church", [Somerville, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 402-402.

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