Built 1855-57, St. Alphonsus was designed by architect Louis L. Long to serve American and Irish Catholics. A fine example of nineteenth century Italianate architecture, it features two prominent towers as well as original handcrafted pews. Corinthian columns, Italian paintings, and German stained glass were added throughout the late 1800s.
The Church ceased weekly religious services in 1979 and it has since been used as a cultural and event space. St. Alphonsus was listed on the National Register in 1973 and was elevated to the level of National Historic Landmark in 1996.
The Friends of St. Alphonsus have been meeting monthly since 1990 to restore this sacred space through grants and fundraisers. Their work has been limited in recent years as major improvements are needed to keep it a safe and operable space. Signs of water and termite damage can be found throughout, but especially in timbers supporting the bell tower. Heavy winds and rain have caused masonry and plaster ceiling pieces to fall. Conditions continue to worsen and citations for demolition by neglect have been issued.