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Thursday
Dec012011

Parish Architecture

Our Lady of Victory Church
by
Meyer & Cook
Church Architects

 

 

 

   The exterior and interior of the church is of modified Spanish design. The stone used on the exterior was quarried in Minnesota and was selected to harmonize in color with the existing terra cotta entrances. The spire on the main tower, the top of which is 118 feet above the sidewalk, is covered with lead coated copper and is surmounted by a metal cross 6 feet high. All roofs are covered with red Spanish tile.

 

   At the head of the stairs of the Narthex or Entrance Vestibule, under the main tower, is the old Baptistery which is enclosed on two sides by solid bronze screens and a pair of bronze doors which were fabricated in Germany. The floor is terrazzo and the wainscot marble.  Currently, the old Batistry is not in use. In 60's the baptismal font was moved to the front of the church.  The font, which was made in Italy is of solid marble with a marble cover.

 

   Upon entering the church through the massive oak doors, the eye is immediately drawn to the Sanctuary and the marble High Altar surmounted by a painting of Our Lady of Victory in a marble and bronze niche. Over the Altar is bronze tester suspended from the ceiling with bronze chains. Over the entrance to the Sanctuary, which is partially enclosed by a marble and bronze communion rail, is the Rood Beam which carries the Crucifix and the figures of St. Mary and St. John. On the face of the beam is the inscription. He saith to His mother, "Woman behold thy Son" - He saith to the Disciple, "Behold thy Mother."

 

   The side Altars with their statues of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph in niches all of marble, also have bronze testers over them. Above the Blessed Virgin Altar is the Papal coat of arms, and above the St. Joseph Altar te coat of arms of the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, painted or ornamental wood panels in brilliant colors.

 

The pulpit is of marble with bronze panels.

 

   The three step platform of the main Altar and the one step platform of the side Altars are made of slabs of Rosso Levento marble. The red portions of the Altars are made of Rosso di Francia marble and the remainder of the altars is Botticino marble.

 

   The marble altars, niches and statues, and the marble work of the communion rail and pulpit were all imported from Italy.

 

   The side walls of the Sanctuary are faced with Italian Travertine stone as are the Nave walls to half their height.

 

   The beams, shields, angels and side panels of the ceiling are decorated in polychrome and gold, the entire Apostles' Creed being carried around in the side panels in gold letters on a blue ground.

 

   Floors in the Sanctuary and the aisles of the Nave are of colored terrazzo divided by metal strips into ornamental borders and panels. Floors under the pews are of asphalt tile.

 

   The Sedilia in the Sanctuary, the pews and the confessionals were all specially designed and constructed of oak with a warm brown finish to harmonize with the Church interior.

 

The Stations of the Cross are of wood, carved in Italy and are highlighted with color.

 

   The stained glass windows have a rather light background with figures and symbols in brilliant colors. In the Sanctuary windows are symbols of the Passion and of the Blessed Sacrament. In the triple window over the Choir Gallery are the King of Victory and two angels with musical instruments. The subjects in the rest of the windows are in general concerned with devotion to Our Lady. In the large arched windows in the clerestory are Our Lady giving the Rosary to St. Dominic, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette, Our Lady of Fatima and the Children, and the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. The aisle windows contain symbols representing various appellations of Our Lady taken from the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, except the two windows adjoining the confessionals which have symbols of the Sacrament of Penance.

 

   The illumination of the Nave of the church is accomplished by concealed down lighting and ornamental lanterns of Spanish design. The replacement of lamps is accomplished by a steel catwalk reached by a steel stairway above the ceiling of the Nave. The Stations of the Cross and stained glass windows are illuminated by shield type up-down lighting. The Sanctuary, Altar and mural of Our Lady of Victory is accomplished by concealed floodlights located behind the Rood Beam, side troughs of the Sanctuary and side troughs incorporated in the reconstruction of the Altar.