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ST. MICHAEL CHURCH

ST. MICHAEL CHURCH at Scranton and Clark was built 18891892 and was considered the finest church in Cleveland for many years. The congregation was founded as a mission of St. Mary's Church in 1881 to serve the increasing number of German immigrants in the area. Fr. JOSEPH M. KOUDELKA was the founding pastor. A frame school was built that same year and the first mass was said in that building. A combined school and church was constructed in 1883.

On 7 July 1889 the cornerstone of the present church was laid. The old building burned on 29 June 1891 while construction of the new church was still underway. The new church was completed 5 years ahead of schedule and dedicated on 20 Nov. 1892. It is considered a good example of the High Victorian Gothic style and its architect was Adolph Druiding of Chicago. The exterior features rock-faced stone walls, 2 towers of unequal heights, 3 arched entryways, and a large rose window. The church was for many years the largest, the most costly, and most artistically notable church in the Cleveland Diocese. An architecturally notable school, designed by architect Emil Uhlrich, was built 190607 on Scranton Rd. near Clark.

In 1948 the church, established as a nationality (German) parish, was converted to a territorial parish, as only approx. 25% of its members were of German descent. In the late 1950s the parish reached its peak in terms of size. In 1971 the first Spanish-language mass was said for the increasing number of Hispanic parishioners. The church remains one of the most impressive religious structures in the Cleveland area.


Sheehan, Rev. Thomas W. The Story of St. Michael Church (1975).