Friday, March 27, 2009

Sacred Heart Church

This picture card of Sacred Heart Catholic Church shot by moon glow, is among my favorites. Services were held here, on the corner of Marina and Willis from 1896 until 1969 when services were moved to the larger church built on the site that had housed St. Joseph's Academy on "Academy Hill."

You can just get a glimpse of the Academy on the left side of this picture when it's enlarged.

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was the culmination of the hard work of French born Rev. F. Albert Quetu who arrived in Prescott and served the church here until 1908.

The building was designed by Architect Frank Parker in true "sober Gothic style" featuring decorative brick work and pointed arches. It's thought to be one of the finest examples of architecture in the State.

The small building to the north of the church was the little wood rectory that was replaced in 1915 by the brick rectory building that is still there today.
The church building now houses the Prescott Fine Arts Association theater and art gallery. The church steeple was removed after repeated lightning strikes.

The larger building to the north of the rectory must be the old hospital started by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1881. (Here I speculate that the nursing was turned over to the Sisters of Mercy in 1885 when the Sisters of St. Joseph began to devote their efforts entirely to teaching.) According to Melissa Rufner, "In 1898 the hospital was moved to Grove Avenue and the name changed to Mercy Hospital."

Here's a photo taken about from the same angle in daylight. In the later moonlit picture there's a sort of two story, much windowed tower rising above the old hospital. An addition or another building behind the hospital? This is a mystery that cries out for a great detective...

The Congregational Church below was built on the corner of Alarcon and East Gurley streets in 1905. This is a lovely building built in the Romanesque Revival style.


  1. Very well done. We enjoyed seeing these old pictures.

  2. I must be an "old timer", as I attended Mass at the old Sacred Heart Church. It was sad when services were moved to the "modern" church building. It was never the same..........

  3. Frank G. Parker, the architect for the Sacred Heart Church was my grandfather's brother. He died in 1900. There is an extensive list of structures he designed for Prescott in the 1800s that are little known by most of the community. He designed both commercial and private buildings. Among them are: The First Court House on the Square in down town Prescott. He also designed the three story Knights of Pythias Building, facing the Square still on Cortez St., often called the Hawkins Building. He also designed the small Mercy Hospital shown in the pictures.