Burlington, Iowa on the Mississippi
508 North 4th Street
Burlington, IA 52601
The original St. Paul’s – one of the three oldest Catholic parishes in the state of Iowa and the second church built in Burlington – was founded in the 1840s. Burlington was the first capitol of the newly created Territory of Iowa, and the legislature met for a brief time in the basement of that church. According to notes from its founder, Fr. Mazzuchelli, the small Catholic community “found themselves surrounded by many Protestant ministers who, while organizing their own congregations, never forgot to accuse the Church of error and superstition.” However, Fr. Mazzuchelli’s personality and popularity aided in the dissipation of these prejudices, and his little church continued to grow. The need for larger quarters led to the purchase of the Presbyterian Chapel building in 1863.
The present day church was built in 1892-1895 and was designed by J.J. Egan of Chicago, the “Prince of Church Architects,” of Bedford buff stone in the English Gothic Style. This was no easy feat, as the New York Stock Exchange collapsed on May 5, 1893, followed by a four-year period of depression.
A square campanile 100 feet high flanks the southwest corner, and the original church bell from 1942 is on display on the west side of the church. This church is very visible when crossing the Highway 34 bridge and can be seen from multiple vantage points, including from the intersection of 4th Street and Washington where five other lighted steeples can also be seen. St. Paul’s is a contributing property in the Heritage Hill Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church