Tuesday, June 2, 2009

St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, Blair, NE

Catholicism in Blair can be traced back to approximately 1871 when the parish was organized. At that time, the parish was known by the name of St. Joseph. However in 1886, when the parish was incorporated, the name was changed to St. Francis Borgia. A permanent church (pictured above) was constructed in 1889, and was located downtown near the courthouse.

In 1958, the parish relocated to the south end of Blair and the current Mid-Century Modern style church was constructed.

As the parish continued to grow, a substantial renovation was undertaken in the 1990s (I believe) to expand the seating capacity of the church. While the additional seating was necessary, the solution doesn't quite do justice to the architecture of the building. During this same renovation, a clerestory was added, providing enhanced natural light and a thoroughly interesting ceiling structure.

Many of the original Mid-Century Modern elements of the church still shine through, including many of the sanctuary furnishings as well as the light fixtures and windows.

A bronze statue of the parish's patron resides in a niche outside of the new addition.

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