Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church (Solon, Iowa)
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church
Saints Peter and Paul Chapel in rural Solon Iowa
|Location||1165 NE Taft Avenue
|Architect||R. K. Parkinson|
|Architectural style||Late 19th and 20th century Revivals|
|NRHP Reference #||97000622 |
|Added to NRHP||March 12, 1999|
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church is a former parish of the Diocese of Davenport. The church is located in rural Solon, Iowa, United States, at 1165 NE Taft Avenue. The property is east of Iowa Highway 1 between Solon and Mount Vernon in Johnson County. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church was founded around 1861 to serve Czech Bohemian immigrants who settled near Solon, Iowa. The first church building used by the parish was built of stone and located across the road from the present building. The stone was quarried locally and the building was built by hand for $1,300. In time the building started to deteriorate and it was closed in 1916 and torn down in 1938.
Ground was broken for the present building on April 18, 1916. It was dedicated on July 15, 1917. The Rev. Florian Svrdlik from St. Wenceslaus Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa preached the sermon at the ceremony. The bid for constructing the building was $13,800. The present church building is a steel frame structure covered with red brick and tile. Two offset spires front the building. The interior is decorated with a marble altar from Italy with a depiction of the Last Supper carved into the front. The altar also contains a statue of the Infant of Prague. In the church’s vestibule is a 19th-century painting portraying St. Peter and St. Paul, which is also from Europe.
The parish, like many in rural Iowa, was a victim of declining numbers of clergy and people who opted to live and work on farms. Saints Peter and Paul parish was merged with St. Mary’s in Solon on June 30, 1996, and the church building was officially closed. That same year members from the former parish organized to preserve the church building. They bought the church from the diocese for a dollar and raised funds to renovate the building. By 1998 the renovation project was complete and the facility is used for weddings and other events.