The "Little French Church" on the river in downtown Minneapolis is in danger

This lovely, historic, little church is once again threatened - by developers.

I saw it on local news. Developers want to build a huge apartment tower and the corner, adjacent to this lovely jewel of a church. It was originally built by Univeralists in 1857 - a year before the Blessed Virgin Mary even appeared to the little St. Bernadette at Lourdes. French Canadian Catholics purchased the church twenty years later in 1877.

The redevelopment of the riverfront area was initially opening up the area to commercial and residential use in the late 1970's, and historic buildings were subsequently reinforced, especially after the construction of apartment towers and condos overlooking the Mississippis and downtown Minneapolis which altered the stability of existing structures. It's a beautiful area of the city, adjacent to downtown. It is my understanding that the structural integrity of church was threatened by excessive shaking and had to be reinforced during the construction of new buildings and underground parking. Before that, the church was also threatened with closure by the archdiocese. To avoid confusion and misstatement about that history by me, let me reprint an excerpt from Our Lady of Lourdes website on the history and what is happening.
continue at Abbey Roads


  1. Thanks for posting - it's a very important issue here - the city of course has dollar sign in its eyes hoping for increased tax revenue and all of that. Minneapolis has a long tradition of destroying historical sites for progress. The metro is now installing light rail systems - we had trolleys at one time - tracks were torn up to make way for busses - now we want the rail back. They also just tore down a historic house and the mayor got into a cat fight online with protestors over it. The house is gone.

    I noticed Fr. Z has picked up the story as well - hopefully others will take note and stop the construction. Anyone can use what I've written if they wish - I'm not looking for hits out of this - just that the message gets out. Thanks Matt!

  2. see, another reason why I read this blog! I would have never known about Nye's closing!!! GAAAAAA! Such a great place with swell Babcia (that's Polish for Grandma) food and a truly Swanky atmosphere. Another black mark against moving to the twin cities. So glad I visited Wisconsin last year. That Church that might be destroyed is very beautiful. I just knew in the pit of my gut that Wisconsin was a better "Catholic" fit. You folks seem to cherish your historic churches!

    1. Wisconsin has own own embarassments.


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