According to the parish's Guide to the Church and its Ecclesiastical Art:
St. Anthony's conforms the best laws of ecclesiastical art by combining many beautiful details into a harmonious pattern. It creates the impression of massiveness when viewed from the exterior. Two square, well-proportioned Romanesque towers add to this impression. Inside, however, the church's massiveness seems to melt away by interior of light and color, for a general result of warmth, beauty, and grandeur. Its harmonious pattern will become more apparent as the single murals and windows are viewed in the ideas the designers had in mind.
The architectural style of the church is Romanesque, borrowed from some representative copy of this architecture in the German Rhineland. Romanesque style's chief characteristic traits are the rounded arch, the floor plan in the form of a cross and rounded vaulted ceilings, with the circle and curved line prevailing throughout.
St. Anthony's was erected in 1910 at a cost of $175,000 — unbelievable at today's building costs. And it was completely paid for by 1919. In fact, on Thanksgiving Day in 1919, the church was consecrated. (Only a church that is completely paid for may be consecrated.) Once a year on the anniversary of its consecration, the twelve candles at various places throughout the church are lit.
The columns (or pillars) in the church are made from plaster with a steel beam, painted to resemble marble. This type of painting is almost a lost art — only one man in the country is now known to be able to do it.
From the parish website:
The long history of St. Anthony's begins in 1863 when the first Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Servace Altmicks, O.F.M. in a house donated by Mr. Whitnell. From these humble beginnings the parish began to grow and the first church was built on the corner of Meramec Street and Compton Avenue. That first church was consecrated by Bishop Hogan in 1869.It ought to be noted that although this is a fairly small parish, this church has many friends and benefactors, including those who formerly lived in the neighborhood.
The value of education of the children of the parish took a big step forward with the building of the first parish school in the year 1870. In 1883, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet joined the parish and have served it faithfully ever since through their teaching ministry.
As the parish grew and prospered, a new church was begun in 1908 and was completed in 1910. Archbishop Glennon celebrated the first Mass there. This is our present church building used by St. Anthony's community.
There are currently about 480 households registered in the parish.
Note the copy of the crucifix of San Damiano, which led to the conversion of Saint Francis of Assisi. Unusual for Italy, the original crucifix-icon was probably made by a Syrian monk.
Statue of Saint Francis.
These choir stalls were hand made by the early German friars.
The view of the high altar from the chapel.
This tile floor in the sanctuary is original to the church and has been recently restored. Note the tiles include the design elements of the fleur-de-lis and the Greek cross fleurée. Click here for a close-up view of the tiles.
Next to the pulpit is a statue of Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscans. This church has unusual edge lighting, used during weddings.
Altar of Saint Joseph; to the left is one of the church's several elaborately carved confessionals.
Altar to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Saint Anne with the child Mary is above the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
Christ the good shepherd, removing one of his flock from the thorns.
These stained glass windows include an abstract floral pattern, the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven, and Saint Philip. The windows are the work of Emil Frei.
Murals run along entablature over the arches of the side-aisles. Due to time constraints, I was unable to take any close-up photographs of these paintings.
3140 Meramec Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118