Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

St. Francis de Sales Church, McKees Rocks

This church was closed in 1993, and the building was sold after that; but right now it appears to be abandoned.  It is a tragedy to abandon such a magnificent building, especially since this Renaissance style is very rare in churches around here. But McKees Rocks had half a dozen Catholic parishes in a very small space, and more than one magnificent building among them. The parish was merged into St. John of God Parish, which worships at St. Mary’s a couple of blocks away—also a magnificent church, and one that we are happy to see still going.

The building was opened in 1900. Father Pitt does not know the architect, and would be happy to be enlightened. It has a curious dearth of windows, perhaps to emphasize the light pouring in from the dome. Mid-nineteenth-century Catholic churches in Pittsburgh sometimes avoided windows on the ground floor because the Know-Nothings would invariably smash them, but 1900 seems far too late for fear of such Know-Nothing activity in Pittsburgh.

Cameras: Canon PowerShot A590 (hacked) and Olympus E-20n.

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5 responses to “St. Francis de Sales Church, McKees Rocks”

  1. I had my wedding reception here in July of 2006 when it was called Pittsburgh’s Cathedral Hall. It was an absolutely beautiful venue. I know the owner discussed wanting to get out of the wedding business and I can no longer find any current information on the building.

  2. Architect is Marius C. Rousseau. His home, the Marius Rousseau House, 100 Watkins Ave., Bellevue, is a Pittsburgh Historic Landmark

  3. My late mother went to school at Francis de Sales. We also went to several productions there when they had a dinner theatre in the early 2000s.

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