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INFORMATION ABOUT OLD ST. PETER'S LANDMARK


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Built in 1897 and dedicated March 17, 1898, this former Catholic Church was saved from demolition in 1971, and is now owned and managed by the Old St. Peter's Landmark Preservation, Inc.

The gothic, red brick church is 120 feet in length and is 40 feet wide.

The steeple rises 176 feet in the air, topped by a 6 foot weathervane rooster crafted by Frank S. Gunning. The weathervane turns on bearings which have never needed repairs or replacement. Mr. Gunning's daughter was the very first to give a donation to help save the Landmark.

Early land descriptions recorded in the Wasco County Court House show that surveyors used the steeple as an identifying point or  benchmark. Steamboat captains used the steeple as a navigational tool on the Columbia River. Tenneson Engineering surveyors continue to use the steeple as a benchmark today.

The roof was galvanized iron Spanish tile. After nearly 100 years of protecting the building, the roof was replaced in 1995 by tile designed in Canada to closely match the original.

Lion Heads watch from the downspouts of the steeple.

Viewed from the west side, three crosses can be seen on the roof.

In the vestibule is the belfry rope, connected to a 533 pound bell.

The interior of the building contains six rose windows and 34 stained glass windows made by Povey Brothers of Portland, Oregon. The cherubs were designed to portray the daughters of the one of the Povey Brothers. Most windows were given in memory of pioneer families.

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The Kilgen Pipe Organ, made of rare tigerwood, with twenty-six visible pipes, was installed in 1925. It is still used in weddings today.

The innermost portion of the church was painted in 1954-55 by Theodore Braash, a renowned German artist.

The ceiling of stamped metal is approximately 40 feet at its highest point.

Leaf/Ivy patterns in wood trim and pearl trim on back of the pews were created by a steam press on the wood.

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The serene, lovely Madonna was carved from the keel of a sailing ship that sank off the coast of San Francisco in the early 1850's. The statue was a gift from two families in memory of a relative saved from the shipwreck.

The railings and altars were made in Italy from carrara marble and were installed by artisans from Italy.

The collapsible pump organ is circa 1880 and was donated in the fall of 1989 by Katie Fleck Kortge. The organ was given to Katie in 1916 for use in her school classes. The collapsible pump organ was originally used by Father Bronsgeest as he traveled from parish to parish, including The Dalles and outlying areas. This organ was the first to be used at St. Peter's.

Maximum seating capacity for the building is 225. No seating is allowed in the balcony.

St. Peterís Landmark is handicap-accessible and air-conditioned.

 

Photos of Povey Bros. Windows and Statue courtesy of Doug Leash.
Photos of the building exterior and interior courtesy of Emerson Wells, Carson City, Nevada.
Panoramic Photos courtesy of Brian Conroy of Oregon Panoramas.
Drawings courtesy of Diane Colcord.

Copyright © Old St. Peter's Landmark Preservation, Inc. All rights reserved.