Church Structure

Immaculate Conception Parish began in 1913. The original church was in a small wooden structure that existed on the land obtained for the parish. The first official parish church was held in a multipurpose building now known as Pleus Hall. In 1922, the building of the existing church was begun.

The present Immaculate Conception church is built in a Romanesque style. This term was used to designate the architecture's similarity to that of the Romans. Its' style was not copied from the Roman Temples, due to the lack of space for the faithful to gather. Rather the form was taken from basilica which was used in market places, government buildings, gathering places, etc.

Elements of this architecture are the blocky appearance, round or barrel vaulted ceiling, the rounded arches, formed by free standing columns, piers (square columns) or pilasters (piers attached to the wall.)

The ceiling of Immaculate Conception church is a barrel vault. The vaulted ceiling has six wide masonry ribs that extend down to the side walls and form a corbel that resembles a stylized column capitol on both sides. A triumphal arch formation separates the nave or main body of the church from the sanctuary. The rounded edges of the ribs in the vaulted ceiling are reemphasized in the rounded edges of the arches in the triumphal arch. (photo by Dan Bernskoetter)

Triumphal Arch

The triumphal arch was an ornamental version of a walled city gate, moved to the center of the city to be used in the triumphal procession. The Arch of Constantine, left, was built to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312.The arch design in the sanctuary area of our church even has piers or pilasters with the capitals of the Corinthian order as they were on the ancient triumphal arch. As our priests process to the front of church and through the “triumphal arch,” we should be mindful of the triumph of Christ’s victory over death.

As you look around the church, you see the arch and column design repeated again and again. You see the arch formed by the shape of the beautiful windows. Arches and columns are also contained within the window design and in the Stations of the Cross.

(photos by Dan Bernskoetter)

Arch Comparison

Information on this page written and/or compiled by the Art and Spiritual Tour Committee: Patty Skain, contact