Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, celebrated its grand reopening on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
CEDAR RAPIDS – The oldest Catholic parish in Cedar Rapids celebrated its grand reopening Saturday after undergoing months of restoration.
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 857 Third Ave. SE, was built in 1914-1916, but its roots as a parish extend back to 1857, according to the National Register of Historic Places, when a wood-frame building was constructed at Third Avenue and Seventh Street SE.
Extensive scaffolding was used during the restoration process. (photo/Immaculate Conception)
That church was replaced in the 1870s by a larger brick building, and after the turn-of-the-century, the site at Third Avenue and 10th Street SE was purchased.
The current church was commissioned from St. Paul architect Emmanuel Masqueray, according to the parish history, with the interior designed under the direction of Angelo Gherardi, who had designed liturgical settings for more than 300 churches nationwide.
Immaculate Conception, which serves diverse ethnic groups in Cedar Rapids, launched a capital campaign last year, with a goal of $1.5 million to fund the restoration work.
Heritage Restoration of Peoria, Ill., was selected as the restoration company. Work included repairing plaster and repainting the interior; replacing interior lighting and sound system; removing carpeting and restoring the original terrazzo floor; refinishing pews with new kneelers and cleaning the gold leaf and stained glass windows.
Extensive scaffolding was used in the restoration process, with Masses held elsewhere during that time.
The result was unveiled during a grand reopening on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.
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See more photos of the grand reopening here:
The exterior of Immaculate Conception Church and its parish rectory are seen at 10th Street and Third Avenue SE. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
A woman climbs the stairs to enter Immaculate Conception Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
A “before” picture shows green carpeting and other details of the church interior before the restoration work began.
Work on Immaculate Conception included repairing plaster and paint in the interior. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
This side altar, made of marble imported from Italy, serves as a devotion to St. Joseph. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
The mural on the ceiling of the sanctuary is a depiction of God the Father. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
A stained glass window is shown in the choir loft at Immaculate Conception Church. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
The altar of Immaculate Conception is supported by Breccia Violetta marble columns from Italy. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Restoration work included refinishing the pews and cleaning the stained-glass windows. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Work on the church included removing carpeting and restoring the original terrazzo floor. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Visitors look at the restoration work inside Immaculate Conception during the church’s grand reopening. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Exquisite stained-glass windows line the church on each side, representing various saints and stories from the Bible. (photo/Cindy Hadish)