Awards of Excellence:
St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1905 | Year Saved: 2006
Contributor: Camilla Hartman, Church Historian

St. Anthony Church is the oldest Catholic church in Wichita still in use. In 1902 work began on the present church building and was completed in 1905. From the earliest days, the church was artistically and historically significant. The church was designated a local historic landmark in 1988. The house of worship’s architectural spirit is that of the German Romanesque, a fusion of essential Gothicism and Romanesque forms that were somewhat peculiar to Northern Europe.

The final phase of this many-year preservation effort involved restoration and preservation of the intricate and delicate interior stencil work. A laboratory color analysis of the original paint was done, blow-ups made of historic photographs and digitalized computer copies enabled the artists to assess colors, shades, and previously unseen design elements. The focus of the effort was always the restoration of their beloved church, in keeping with its original purpose as a house of worship.

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