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Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church

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c. 1892–1893, Arthur L. Davis. 291 Union Ave.
  • 1930s historic postcard (American Art Post Card Co.)

The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church is one of New England’s finest late Romanesque Revival structures, but to date has not received the recognition that it merits. Erected in 1892–1893 at a cost between $60,000 and $70,000, it was at the time of its dedication one of the most substantial and magnificent ecclesiastical buildings in the state, with dimensions of 60 by 130 feet and an estimated seating capacity of 1,500 persons. The designer was the widely recognized local architect, Arthur L. Davis (1831–1922), to whom are attributed many residences and public buildings in Laconia (see BE16 and BE22) and the New Hampshire pavilion at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. As is characteristic of the Romanesque Revival style, the semicircular arch motif is present throughout the church: on the three entrance headings on the main Union Avenue facade; on the side wall windows; and, in the front central bell tower, recessed panel headings, tall windows and belfry stage apertures. At the corners of the nave and the side pavilion are slender round pinnacles topped by small spire caps. The pinnacles, combined with the bell tower provide vertical visual forces to counter the otherwise ponderous feeling generated by the great mass of the brick edifice.

Writing Credits

Bryant F. Tolles, Jr.



  • 1892


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Bryant F. Tolles, Jr., "Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church", [Laconia, New Hampshire], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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