St. Andrew Catholic Church, located in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, was in operation from 1875 until 2010.


History

The parish was organized in 1874 by many of Irish Catholics who acquired a lot on Prospect Place in Avondale.7 The cornerstone for a Gothic Revival-styled building laid by Archbishop Purcell on September 20 and was dedicated on April 18, 1875.5 Its debt was retired in January 1882. The structure was enlarged in 1894 and rededicated on October 7. The original facility later served as a synagogue and then demolished for the erection of the South Avondale School.

In 1917, ground was broken for a larger church.4 7 Designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons in the Gothic Revival architectural style, the building was dedicated in 1920. It featured a vaulted ceiling, extensive stained glass panels and a statue of St. Andrew above the front door above the apex. The statue was ordered in 1919 by Frank Herschede from Italy although it received disapproval from the parish priest, Father David O’Meara, due to its smaller size. It was crated and stored in the warehouse of the Herschede Hall Clock Company. But because the statue held a St. Andrew’s Cross, it was difficult to sell the statue and was uncrated, blessed and installed on the lawn of the church in 1939. It was later moved inside.

The building was intended to have two competing towers at the southern and northern fronts, but were never completed.4

In 1925, a sizeable two-story school was completed behind the church.7


Decline

Avondale’s demographics changed for the worse during the mid-20th century. In the 1940s, black professional and middle-class homeowners moved to the neighborhood by choice from an overcrowded West End, lured by large homes and lots and a vibrant business district.6 But in the 1950s, African-American planners in the neighborhood convinced the city to force thousands of low-income families to move from the West End as part of urban redevelopment projects in the West End that eventually led to the construction of Interstate 75 and the Queensgate industrial park. This led to the first wave of substantial population decline in Avondale, but the riots in 1967 and 1968, prompted by civil unrest, spurred the rapid decline of the neighborhood.6 St. Andrew’s was not spared damage and stained glass was broken during the mêlée, while businesses and residences nearby were set ablaze.

St. Andrew’s school closed in 1965 due to declining enrollment and students were sent to St. George School in Corryville, which was renamed Corryville Catholic.7 It was during this time that the church’s interior was painted and adorned with symbols of the Dominican Order.

On July 14, 2010, a decree by Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr formed the Church of the Resurrection, which combined St. Agnes in Bond Hill, St. Martin de Porres in Lincoln Heights and St. Andrew in Avondale into the St. Agnes location.2 The newly joined congregation contained 550 worshipers. Four days after the formation, St. Andrew held its last service after 136 years.3

The first Mass at the Church of the Resurrection was held at 10 AM on August 1.2

[stag_toggle style=”normal” title=”Sources” state=”closed”]
  1. Bradley, Eric. “Last services held at three Catholic Churches.” Cincinnati Enquirer 25 July 2010. 13 May 2011 Article.
  2. Paver, Ashley. “History of St. Mark’s Church.” The Campaign to Restore St. Mark’s Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2011. Article.
  3. Walton, Jenell. “St. Andrew first of four African-American Catholic churches to close as part of Archdiocese merger.” WCPO. N.p., 18 Jul. 2010. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. Article.
  4. Dan. “Historic Catholic Churches of Cincinnati.” Queen City Survey. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. Article.
  5. “St. Andrew’s Chruch, Avondale.” Greater Cincinnati Memory Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. Article.
  6. Curnutte, Mark. “Saving Avondale.” Cincinnati Enquirer. N.p., 18 Mar. 2012. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. Article.
  7. “History of St. Andrew Catholic Church.” Celebrating National Black Catholic History Month. Cincinnati: Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 2009. 77-78. Print.
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