Photo Record

Object Name Transparency, Slide
Catalog Number 2012.025.073
Description This slide is labeled "Chisling, Elliott Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church Chattanooga 1962". The description is handwritten in blue ink. The photographer is unknown. The printed date of development is March 1981.
Even though the photograph was developed in 1981 it is safe to surmise that the photographer wanted to say that the photograph was taken in 1962 but was not developed until years later. This is an image of the corner of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church located at 214 E. 8th Street Chattanooga. The name,"Elliott L. Chisling" which is written on the slide is the name of a New York based architect. The person who labeled the photograph may have thought that Chisling who designed churches was the designer of the church. However, the National Register of Historic Places has Peter Dedericks Junior (1856- 1924), who lived and worked in Detroit Michigan listed as the architect. Dedericks was known around Detroit for his designs, especially of schools and churches at reasonable prices. Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church was founded in 1852 when Father Henry V. Brown, who was a converted Presbyterian became the first pastor. Catholics in Chattanooga had met in a number of different buildings in from the 1840's until 1890 when this building was constructed. One building was a stone church that was destroyed by Union forces, who used the stones for fortifications and culverts during the civil war.
An Irish priest by the name of Father William Walsh was appointed pastor of the church in 1887. The Church in this photograph was built under his leadership. The ground breaking was on February 1 1888 and the church was dedicated on June 29 1890. According to records written by Father George Flanigan in 1952, The church originally had two 175 foot tall twin towers, but their sand stone trim was crumbling so badly that the church members elected to have them removed by 1939. The church’s stained-glass windows were designed by renowned artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, and depict significant events in the lives of the parish’s patron saints. St. Peter’s life is depicted in the east-side (left) windows and St. Paul’s life in the opposite windows. The nave of Saints. Peter and Paul Church also has 14 polychrome Stations of the Cross, whose scenes depict Christ’s suffering, death, and burial. According to a Chattanooga news article from 1892, The French artist who created the Stations is said to have spent 17 years in designing them and three years in producing a model to satisfy him,”. In 1979 the building was added to The National Register of Historic Places.
Sts. Peter and Paul is the mother parish of many East Tennessee parishes. The first Chattanooga parish created from Sts. Peter and Paul territory was Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in 1937. In 1997 and 1998 the church received $300,000 of improvements and repairs, including painting of ceiling vaults, cleaning of Tiffany windows, refurbishing of the Stations of the Cross refurbished, and repairs to numerous damages sustained over time. In 2006 the church sent its then 70-year-old Kilgen organ to a firm in McDonald Tennessee for repairs. The church was raised to a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI and inaugurated by Bishop Joseph Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville in 2011.
Date 1962-1981
Print size 2.00" x 2.00"
Accession number 2012.025