Saint Peter’s Church (Duluth)

Between 1925 and 1927, volunteer masons began building this Gothic-Romanesque style church to serve as a place of worship for an Italian immigrant parish that was founded in 1905. The stone facade is crafted of native basalt by the same artisans who built the foundations for most of the city’s East End mansions during Duluth’s Golden Age. Many area residents, both Italian and not, were shocked when the Catholic Diocese announced late last year that the church—a religious and cultural center for many—would close. The Diocese claimed its decision was due to unsafe conditions in the aging structure, and  the dwindling congregation’s insufficient funds to make necessary repairs, but outside contractors have found the building to be in mostly sound condition. The building has been mothballed and sits vacant, and may soon be listed for sale. Many wish to see this historic church put back to use to revitalize the “Little Italy” neighborhood, as a mixed-use educational and cultural center interpreting the Italian-American presence in Northern Minnesota.

To watch a short news report about the closure of St. Peter’s Church, visit:

For information about the Duluth Preservation Alliance, visit:

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