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Basilica of St. Adalbert

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1907–1913, Henry J. Harks; 1950 altars remodeled; 2001–2005 restoration, Paul Jeffrey of Bahr Vermeer Haecker. 650 Davis Ave. NW
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

German-speaking Catholic Poles in Grand Rapids originally worshipped with Germans at St. Andrew's ( KT23). In 1872 they formed St. Adalbert's Society to keep together the Polish community in the city. This Romanesque Revival, domed church replaced their earlier frame church erected in 1881–1882. Twin 134-foot-tall corner towers with cupolas flank the triple round-arched entrance, above which is a circular stained glass window. The dome and octagonal drum at the crossing rises from a square base on whose four corners are sculpted angels facing the cardinal points of the compass. The angels were carved by the Gondola Brothers of Cleveland. The church's exterior walls are of evenly coursed, rock-faced Sandusky limestone with Bedford limestone trim, and the roof is covered with red tile. Harks of Cleveland drafted plans for the church; Chris Vierheilig of Grand Rapids supervised construction; Andrew Brothers of Cleveland built it; and A. Artmaier of Chicago produced the stained glass windows, some depicting Polish saints. This grand and magnificent basilica tells of the importance of Catholicism in western Michigan. A recent project replaced the clay roof tiles and gilded metal crosses, and repaired the trumpet-sounding angels.

Harry L. Mead created the large red brick and stone-trimmed Jacobean parish house next door at 645 Davis Avenue NW in 1922.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Basilica of St. Adalbert", [Grand Rapids, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 256-257.

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