Saturday, August 15, 2009

St. Andrew's Catholic, Little Rock

I've been asked to post a picture of the oldest church in Little Rock. I believe that would be St. Andrews, at 7th and Louisiana. It's the oldest existing church structure, anyway, having been built in 1881.

The problem is, in order to get the bulk of the church in a photograph, you have to shoot it from half a block away. It's that big. The steeple starts a mile up and goes on for another mile after that.

So, I thought I'd take several shots and hope for the best.

St. Andrew's seems always to be in some phase of restoration. Lately, the stained glass windows have been getting a lot of attention. I'll try to get some interior pictures sometime in the near future.

The front doors show a carved relief sculpture of the twelve Apostles. When the afternoon sun hits them, they're a sight to behold.

Click on the picture for a close view of the fine slate roof on the east side.


Terry said...

A year ago, I went by the church office and asked permission to take pictures inside. I was denied. Being a photo hobbyist and love history, I am hoping one day that I can get inside to take some photos.

Jay said...

From my experience, the people who work in church offices are usually reluctant to grant permission to photograph inside churches, at least those in the larger churches. I hope that doesn't discourage you, though. They usually will provide you with a name and phone number of somebody who can grant such permission, provided you inquire politely.

If you do get some interior shots, send them on to me and I'll post them.

Anonymous said...

I was reared in Hillcrest and lived 50 years in LR. I seem to recall that lightning struck the cross atop the steeple in the 1950s, and it had to be replaced. Anything in the cathedral records about that? I spent many hours across the street at the old Carnegie Library and at the nearby Arkansas Theatre. I wrote many yrs. for the Ark. Democrat and Gazette and the Democrat-Gazette.

Jay said...

I couldn't find anything online about the steeple being struck by lightning in the 50's and requiring rebuilding. My guess is it might have been struck and repaired rather than replaced, but I could be wrong. If anyone knows, please weigh in.

In looking for that info, I did run across two other interesting articles about the church. The first deals with the elaborate stenciling and Becky Witsell's work in restoring it. (The article also contains a timeline on all the restoration project undertaken in the past ten years.) Here's the link:

The other article deals with slate roof restoration in general and St. Andrew's roof in particular. It can be found here:

Thanks for the comment.