Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Sacred Heart Chapel

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Institution Name: College of Saint Benedict
Original/Historic Place Name: Sacred Heart Chapel
Location on Campus: Chapel Ln.
Date(s) of Construction:
1912-1914original construction Stauduhar, George
Designer: George Stauduhar
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Romanesque revival, Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, engineering, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: rusticated stone
Walls: brick
Roof: quarried tile from Spokane, WA
1914-present (2006)chapel

As the focal point of the district, the cruciform type chapel was erected north of Saint Teresa Hall (now the Main Building) and linked at the apse to the rear (west) wall of Saint Benedict Hall by a two-story brick enclosure. It was built on a rusticated stone foundation and dominated by a massive, ribbed dome pierced with oculus windows that rest on a drum base supported by fluted ionic columns. Recessed within the dome is a brick enclosure lit by a series of tall, narrow, semicircular windows with keystones. Alternating rows of pink and tan tiles accent the roof. The transept crosses the main axis at the dome; secondary apses extend from the transept. The buff-colored brick exterior is embellished with Doric pilasters, bands of corbelling, and terra-cotta ornamentation. All windows are hexagonally-patterened European stained glass. The centrally located altar is directly under the dome and made of Kasota stone with four Sienna marble columns. Sixteen granite columns on Kasota stone piers help support the roof, while the roof is made of tile. In 1983 Sacred Heart Chapel underwent renovation which included rearrangement of seating and the removal of eight granite columns,. These columns were incorporated in the 1983 Gathering Place, which was added to the former west entrance. Although the interior of the Chapel was renovated, it retains many of its original furnishings. The Gathering Place is built of nearly identical buff-toned brick as the Chapel and is complimentary in design, mass, and feeling.
-- From National Register Report, "St. Benedict's Convent and College Historic District" (1989).


Blegen, Theodore C. Minnesota: A History of the State. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975.

Koop, Michael. St. Benedict's Convent and College Historic District [College of Saint Benedict]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1989.

McDonald, Grace. "A Finishing School of the 1880s: Saint Benedict's Academy." Minnesota History 27, no. 2 (1946): 96-106.

McDonald, Grace. "Pioneer Teachers: The Benedictine Sisters at Saint Cloud." Minnesota History 35, no. 6 (June 1957): 263-71.

McDonald, Grace. With Lamps Burning. Saint Joseph, MN: Saint Benedict's Priory Press, 1957.

Mitchell, William B. History of Stearns County Minnesota. Vol. 1. Chicago: H. C. Cooper, Jr. and Co., 1915.


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