Honoring our past, celebrating our present, preparing for our future
by Johan M.J. van Parys, Ph.D.
his Christmas sermon in 1903 Archbishop John Ireland announced his desire to
build a church in Minneapolis that would strikingly
symbolize the values and significance of the Catholic Church. He asked for
the support and cooperation of the parishioners of the church of the Immaculate
Conception in realizing this dream. By early 1904 committees had been
established and the project had begun.
Archbishop Ireland appointed Emanuel Masqueray as the principal architect for
the project. Masqueray was born in Dieppe, France in 1861. He was educated in
Rouen and Paris where he studied architecture at L’École
des Beaux Arts. He came to New York
City in 1887 to work for the firm of John Mervin Carrère and Thomas Hastings, fellow
students at L’École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Five years
later, he joined the office of Richard Morris Hunt, the first American architect to attend L’ École des Beaux Arts. Of note is that
while in New York he established two so-called Ateliers where he taught young
architects. One atelier was for men, the other for women. About the latter he
said that he had “unbounded faith in women's ability to succeed in
architecture...provided they go about it seriously.” In 1901 he left New York
to become Chief of Design for the St. Louis Exposition. In 1905 he moved to St. Paul to work on the St. Paul
Cathedral and the Pro-Cathedral of Saint Mary, now The Basilica of Saint Mary.
A Symbol of Catholic Values_lowres.pdf
From BASILICA Magazine Fall 2019