Date of Original Version

1996

Type

Article

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church has sat nestled on a narrow street halfway up Pittsburgh's Polish Hill since 1904. This Polish ethnic church is difficult to miss for people driving just below the Hill or in any aerial photography of Pittsburgh. Immaculate Heart's size and ornate decorations overwhelm its surrounding working class environment. Modeled after the Basilica in Rome, her three prominent domes stand as beacons to all Pittsburgh, constantly reminding the Steel City of its Eastern European and Catholic heritage. As the church's physical appearance draws attention away from the rest of Polish Hill, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church acts as the focal point of Polish Hill's community. It represents the heart of the Polish Americans' lives. Who are the people that struggled to build this magnificent monument to God amid an urban working class environment and how has their community developed since then?

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Published In

The Sloping Halls Review, 3.