Dedication of the Completed Church
On October 3, 1897, the dedication of the building was performed by Archibishop Feehan, joined by 30 priests. The Redemptorist Provincial, Father Girardey, celebrated the solemn High Mass. Bishop Feehan commended the parishioners for their wonderful faith, spirit of sacrifice and loyal cooperation.
After only 15 years, the young and vigorous parish already possessed a permanent church that still ranks among the greatest in the archdiocese. For years architects from far and near visited the church to study its perfect Gothic lines. The entire facade was constructed of blue Bedford rock, as are the gracefully curving stairways, spacious veranda and imposing tower that rises to a height of 200 feet above the foundation.
The remaining portion of the structure is made of pressed red face brick and trimmed with Bedford stone. When it was built the overall length was 206 feet and the width was 80 feet. The center nave rose to a height of 60 feet, while the naves to either side reached a height of 40 feet. To the rear, 10 feet above ground, was a balcony. Higher above the balcony was a choir loft and great organ with more than 3,000 pipes. (The second balcony and original organ were destroyed by the 1950 fire.) In the tower 150 feet above the street were four large clocks facing the cardinal points.
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