Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: St. Patrick Church, Council Bluffs (Pottawattamie County)
St. Patrick’s parish was organized in 1924 with the purpose of serving the growing Catholic community in northeast Council Bluffs as well as those who worked at Mercy Hospital nearby. Construction of the English Gothic style church was completed in 1926. The red granite cobblestones used in the church are purported to have originally paved a main thoroughfare through Council Bluffs. Many prominent members of the Council Bluffs community have been members of St. Patrick Church.
The church underwent an extensive interior renovation in the 1970s and 1990s and an exterior rehabilitation around 2005.
The church closed in the spring of 2018 when a new St. Patrick Church opened. Although the old church has not been publicly listed for sale, a potential buyer interested in the property has plans to tear down the church and other extant buildings including the former rectory (built 1946) for a parking lot.
The Historical Society of Pottawattamie County is working to publicly raise funds with the goal of purchasing the church and its grounds in order to save and preserve the building and its history. Time is running out to raise the funds needed to purchase the church before it is sold.
Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered Property program was started in 1995 and implemented to educate Iowans about the special buildings and historic sites that are slowly and gradually slipping away from us. In the past 20 years, Preservation Iowa has designated over 140 archaeological sites, churches, landscapes and a variety of other buildings.
The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered Properties includes:
- Endangered: Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn
- Endangered: Central Battery Building, Waterloo
- Endangered: Preston’s Station Historic District, Belle Plaine
- Endangered: St. Patrick Church, Council Bluffs
- Endangered: Wetmore Building, Sioux City
- Endangered: C. C. Wolf Mansion, Parkersburg
- Endangered: Marshalltown Historic District, Marshalltown