Milwaukee's St. Rita Square Development Advances

A zoning change for a proposed 118-unit senior living facility and new St. Rita’s Catholic Church was recommended for approval by the City Plan Commission. Developer James A. Tarantino is proposing to purchase and demolish the existing church and a handful of other structures to create two six-story buildings and a church that draws heavily on the design of the long-since demolished Blessed Lady of Pompeii Church.

Tarantino & Co. would buy the church and its former school and convent for $1, demolish the existing structure, construct the senior living facilities and church and sell the new St. Rita’s back to the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee for $1. The existing church was built in 1925 as a mission church for Blessed Virgin of Pompeii.

The new church’s design will borrow heavily from the former “Little Pink Church” in the Historic Third Ward. The original church was demolished for the construction of Interstate 794 in 1967. St. Rita’s became the de facto church of the Scillian community following the demolition.

The new building will include stained-glass windows from St. Rita’s and artifacts from both churches. The sanctuary will be built level with the street. This will come as a notable improvement over the current St. Rita’s, which requires parishioners to scale stairs to enter the building.
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