St. Alphonsus

St. Alphonsus, New Orleans

St. Alphonsus
5
About
St. Alphonsus, located at 2025 Constance Street, was originally built in 1855 by the Redemptorist Fathers to serve the religious and social needs of the Irish Catholic immigrants who began settling in an area upriver from the French Quarter known as Lafayette City in the 1840s. It was one of a number of buildings forming a religious complex that once occupied five adjacent city blocks. Often referred to as "Ecclesiastical Square", the complex included an orphanage, nine school buildings, a gymnasium, three churches, the priests' residence and gardens, two convents, stables, a laundry and other supporting buildings. The post-World War II migration to the suburbs, in addition to the development of low-income housing within the neighborhood, diminished the church's congregation. Steadily rising operating and maintenance costs led the Redemptorists to close St. Alphonsus in the late 1970s. The Friends of St. Alphonsus (FOSA) was formed in 1990 after a small group of concerned citizens entered the abandoned church to view the splendid F. X. Zettler stained glass windows (c. 1870). Noting the serious deterioration and benign neglect of this magnificent and beautiful historic structure, Blanche Comiskey and Susan Levy successfully petitioned the Archdiocese of New Orleans to lease the building to the newly formed FOSA. Since that time, FOSA has held a number of successful fund raisers that have included concerts, auctions, and tours of the building. In 1996, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark through efforts of the Friends, helping to insure its survival. Because of the efforts of FOSA, the building has been made available to the community once again, albeit on a limited basis. Collaboration of these dedicated volunteers with other civic and private organziations has yielded a number of activities which have benefitted the community. St. Alphonsus Art and Cultural Center is located at 2025 Constance Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Open to the public every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 pm.On-site parking is available.
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Mouse63
Oxford, Mississippi83 contributions
A Treasure
May 2019 • Couples
We truly enjoyed our visit to St. Alphonsus. A couple of kind gentlemen gave us a tour and shared the unique history of this beautiful church. The stained glass windows are exquisite. It's a wonderful place for anyone who loves history, art, and historical architecture.
Written May 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tom H
Terre Haute, IN186 contributions
Unexpected find.
May 2019 • Couples
While spending time on Magazine Street in the Garden District we notice a couple church steeples a block or so off to main street. We found St Alphonsus and St Mary's. St Alphonsus has been closed and is now an event and cultural center. Open only on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday meant we had to come back. This area was part of the immigration of Irish, Germans and French as reflected by 3 churches. Check it out and visit with the Friends of St Alphonsus for a free tour of the old church.
Written May 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ida L
New Orleans, LA15 contributions
Stunning stained glass
Mar 2019 • Couples
New Orleans residential architecture commands much interest but there are stunningly beautiful churches that deserve to be seen. St. Alphonsus church is one of the best.

The stained glass inside the church is wonderful, truly stunning, and rivals what you see in Europe. The sense of city history is palpable when you realize that across the street is another large church. Both were built by immigrant groups that came to New Orleans in the mid 1800s. St. Alphonsus was built by Irish Catholic immigrants. Across the street, St. Mary’s Assumption church was built by German immigrants and is in better shape with many beautiful statues and a shrine to Father Seelos.

If you happen to be in New Orleans in mid March, I recommend you visit the St. Joseph’s altars, a tradition brought to New Orleans by Sicilian immigrants. One of these two churches usually has an altar displayed and there will be many visitors in the neighborhood.

New Orleans’ climate has been hard on these old churches but their majesty and beauty are still apparent, though parishioners have been lost to outlying suburbs many years ago.

I am biased, but I love these old churches and the role they have played in our city’s history. The volunteers that staff visiting hours are kind and knowledgeable.
Written March 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LPY39
Phoenix, AZ194 contributions
impressive old church
Apr 2018 • Couples
Just across from St. Mary's Assumption church.Under renovation but you can still appreciate its beauty.
Written April 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Caroline L
2 contributions
Stumbled upon this chirch
Oct 2017 • Couples
A greeter asked us to come and take a look — it’s incredible. Definitely make time to walk past and see this church!
Written October 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Americana29
Florence, AL233 contributions
Breathtaking
Mar 2017
We were out walking, impatiently waiting for a Vietnamese place to open because I was dead set on having pho for late breakfast. For some reason I looked up and what I saw was the steeple of two churches facing off. Walked a couple blocks to investigate and saw the history of this place crook it's finger at me. The interior is absolutely breathtaking. The artistry and detail are amazing! A kind gentleman gave us a tour of the museum on site and answered questions while we explored the site.
Written April 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wayne H
Spring Hill, FL24 contributions
The Way a Church used to Look
Mar 2017
Here is church gong under construction, even with everything going on. This is a beautiful church! Everything from the stain glass to it's art covered ceilings. This is a site not to be missed.
Written March 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

obriens19
Trenton, NJ52 contributions
Lovely old church
Nov 2015
We stumbled upon this church by reading about it in a local magazine and sought it out. Formerly a house of worship, but now a cultural center, the structure is amazing with frescoed ceilings, stained glass windows, and a lovely tile floor. The hours are very limited here, and I'm not sure how you would check them. We went on a Thursday late morning, and it was open. I think it's open to the public three mornings a week. Our guide was well informed and entertaining.
Written November 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Neesie818
Lino Lakes, MN106 contributions
a bit of Europe in old New Orleans
Sep 2013 • Family
St. Alphonsus is a gorgeous former Catholic Church. Too costly to repair but too beautiful to tear down. Open during limited hours, it makes an interesting stop during a stay in New Orleans. I was amazed by the gorgeous fresco ceilings, the mosaic tiled floors, the elevated pulpit and exquisit statuary. The museum curator greeted me at the door and told me to take as many photographs as I wanted. He also gave me a small envelope of postcards. I was free to wander around and take in the beautiful sights that for so many was just their ordinary Irish parish (built pre-Civil war). I thought it was more impressive than the St. Louis Cathedral.
Written November 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

stalprez
New Orleans, Louisiana1 contribution
Great museum
Aug 2013 • Friends
It also contains a museum that houses Irish, church and other personal memorabilia from the 1850's onward. It is located to the right of the main altar as you face it.
Written August 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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