NOTE: see the bottom of Sunday's Site posts for homes for sale in the area
It's hard to miss the dome of the Basilica of St. Mary piercing the skyline on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis. Built between 1907 and 1915, it is recognized as one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the country.
But not only is it architecturally significant. The term 'basilica' also refers to large and important churches given ceremonial rites by the pope. The Basilica of St. Mary was the first basilica established in the United States, honored by Pope Pius XI in 1926.
It seemed fitting to visit this awe-inspiring church on this festive Easter weekend. Designed by Franco-American architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Its presence is a dominant feature of the sense of place of this part of the city, which includes the Loring Park neighborhood, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center and two other impressive Hennepin Avenue churches…St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist.
Equally a part of this neighborhood's sense of place is the juxtaposition of the bustling and the serene…a unique blend of quiet sanctuary in the churches, museum and parks…and the busy streets and freeway running through the middle of it.
The Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge designed by local artist Siah Armanjani connects the two parks, crossing the streaming streets below. It offers a unique point of suspension in the center of this place.
Every summer since 1995 the Basilica has also been the center of the local music scene, when it hosts the annual Basilica Block Party weekend music festival. Proceeds go toward repairing the aging structure and assisting the needs of poor families in the area.
Click here to see homes currently for sale in the area around the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis, MN. (Please be patient while the link searches for the most current listings…click on the map to zoom in until you see arrows on the dots, then pass you cursor over them for property information.)