St. Anthony Church was founded by German Catholics in 1872, the second German parish on Milwaukee’s south side.

The current church is an austere German Gothic Revival “hallenkirche,” or “hall church,” so named for its side aisles being of nearly equal height to the nave. The church’s design along with intricate wood detail creates a cavernous atmosphere while also bringing a sense of proximity between the congregation and the pulpit. As the Milwaukee Department of City Development has extolled, “Entering the church is like taking a trip back to Old World Germany and the designs of the spectacular wooden altars and pulpit reflect the flamboyant ornamentation that is associated with 19th century German builders.”
St. Anthony’s early years were financially challenging. While foundation work on the current building began in 1877, the church was not substantially complete until 1882. Fridolin Heer of Naescher & Heer, out of Dubuque, Iowa, designed the Milwaukee Limestone church. The tower clock and bells were purchased in 1884 and the sandstone spire added in 1886. The two-manual, 41-rank model organ was purchased in 1889 and was designed by Johann Baptiste Singenberger and made in Milwaukee by William Schuelke. Erhard Brielmaier hand carved St. Anthony’s interior wood details in 1890. The Mitchell Street entrance was added in 1940, the grotto on Mitchell Street in 1942, and the new stone façade on the S. 9th St. main entrance in 1948. St. Anthony is one of the few Catholic churches in Milwaukee to retain its communion rail in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, it being in vogue to remove communion rails among US Catholics.
Please join the St. Anthony Congregation in celebrating its 150th anniversary this year! Beginning at 1:30pm, hear the history of the church and some of its architectural symbolism. Afterward, hear its 1889 organ play. Visitors can then tour St. Anthony’s 1896 rectory, see its beautiful woodwork, and historical artifacts in the parish’s possession.

Address
1711 S 9th St, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Saturday Hours
Not Open

Sunday Hours
1 pm - 5 pm

Photography
Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted

Handicapped Accessible
None

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Photo Tour