Name: St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
Address: 1427 South Ninth Street
Architectural Firm/Architect: George I Barnett
Standard Architectural Styles: Romanesque Revival
Religious Group: Catholic
Ethnic Group: German
Front facade: Brick, common bond
Property Type Codes: Church
Alterations: Narthex and new front facade added in 1849, designed by architect Franz Saler.
Designation: City Landmark
The history of this parish is closely linked with the Vicentian Fathers, a mission founded by Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris in 1625. After arriving in America in 1816, they soon settled in Perryville, MO. Among their members was Rev. Joseph Rosati, later to become bishop of St. Louis. With the growth of what is now the Soulard area, Bishop Rosati wanted to build a church to serve the ethnically mixed population. In the subdivision of the Soulard estate, Julia Soulard donated two lots for a church site. Foundations for a church to be called Holy Trinity were begun, but work had to be suspended because of a lack of funds.
In 1842, the Vincentians acquired the present site of the church and the earlier project was abandoned. Late in 1843, Rev. John Simon accepted plans by architect George I. Barnett. On November 10, 1845, the $30,000 church of St. Vincent de Paul, the seventh Catholic church to be erected in St. Louis, was dedicated by Archbishop Kenrick. A parochial school for boys was conducted in a three-story building, built in 1859 on Ninth Street and Park Avenue. A rectory was erected to the south of the church. This structure sustained damage in the tornado of 1896, when its roof was carried nearly a mile to Lafayette Park by the high winds.
After the parish´s centennial jubilee in 1944, the surrounding neighborhood began to decline as industrial plants appeared in greater numbers and public housing projects created a divisive barrier across the parish west of Twelfth Boulevard. An influx of newcomers changed the population balance of the parish and the church was endangered by the construction of the Ozark Expressway. Due to the dwindling population, the parochial school was closed.
site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and