Tucked away on a residential street in St. Anthony, Minnesota is the stunning Church of St. Charles Borromeo. I really love these small, suburban churches. Usually small and understated, neighborhood churches often seem to have superior design, in my opinion, simply because they’re so close to where people live. Its almost as if people design more thoughtfully when their building is going up in their own backyard.
St. Charles Borromeo is a great example of grand architecture integrated into a modest suburban neighborhood. When you drive down, the church appears almost out of nowhere. I did a double take when I saw this on the corner:
Built in 1939, one can imagine the Romanesque revival structure rising out of a new, young neighborhood. Today, the trees are old and lush, and the neighborhood is quiet and picturesque. The sandy color of the bricks is surrounded on almost sides by lush greenery.
As a neighborhood church, I think it works remarkably well. Not standing tremendously tall, it fits right in amongst the small homes that line the street. Yet, what it lacks in stature it makes up for with design and ornament. This is a building that was made to bring beauty to the city and 71 years later, it still works. Easily one of the most beautiful churches I’ve encountered here in Minnesota.