Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Great progress on St. Augustine's Catholic Church restoration

If you are interested in historic restoration, or just love historical buildings in general, St. Augustine's Catholic Church in Austin is a must see! There is a lot of work being completed on this church, and it's great to see how all the efforts of the St. Augustine's Cultural Center are paying off.

The restoration has begun to make the news. Check out the recent story in "Preservation Magazine."

St. Augustine’s is Nevada’s oldest Catholic church building and also one of its finest. Construction of the imposing brick building overlooking Austin’s downtown was begun and largely completed in 1866. The exterior is distinguished by a bell tower with Gothic Revival and Italianate details; the interior retains many early features including grained pews, Gothic confessionals, and a decoratively painted Henry C. Kilgen organ in a Gothic case. About 1940 the parish hired an artist to paint murals for the interior, and the vibrantly colored scenes of events in the lives of Christ and St. Augustine are today the building’s artistic highlight. The basement, used as a school and as religious living quarters, preserves decorative floor painting and early wallpapers. From St. Augustine’s Parish priests such as Fr. Edward Kelly and Fr. Dominick Monteverde fanned out to establish Catholicism in eastern Nevada and Utah in the 1860s and 1870s. With Austin’s eventual decline St. Augustine's was made into a mission church, and services there ceased at the end of the twentieth century.

Learn more about Austin’s history at