the old cathedral st. louis
the old cathedral st. louis

Campaign to Restore the Old Cathedral

By every civic and spiritual measure, the Basilica of Saint Louis, King – known fondly as the “Old Cathedral” - is a timeless treasure.  Its history and the early history of the City of St. Louis are bound together by our region’s most significant events during times of joy, strife, loss, healing, and growth. 

Though still a stately witness to the religious heritage of our city, the exterior of the Old Cathedral has experienced nearly two centuries of weather, resulting in extensive damage to its exterior stonework, columns and to its windows. 

The mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems in the church, rectory and museum have not been updated since 1959, and repairs to architectural millwork, plaster, and statuary are long  overdue.  A full restoration of both the exterior façade and interior historic design features are needed to ensure that our “treasure” retains its glory for generations to come.

Under the leadership of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, plans are proceeding to reverse the Old Cathedral’s physical deterioration.  Restoring a St. Louis Treasure, The Campaign for the Old Cathedral will provide the resources needed to reinstate the architectural dignity of The Basilica of Saint Louis, King, because as the last remnant of the “original” waterfront of Lewis & Clark and the oldest building in the City of St. Louis, the Old Cathedral is a community treasure worthy of preservation.

At a cost of approximately $12 Million, the restoration of the Old Cathedral and Museum is expected to be completed in time for the 250th Anniversary of the founding of St. Louis.  Under the leadership of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, funds raised by Restoring a St. Louis Treasure, the Campaign for the Old Cathedral will re-establish the structural integrity of the Basilica so as to steward the historic gifts of those who gave us this magnificent sign of faith and community treasure.

The last time the Old Cathedral was updated and the “new” museum built was in 1959, when the "new highway" and other improvements to the Arch grounds were underway.

Today, we see a renewed focus on the St. Louis riverfront with the City+Arch+River 2015 initiative, commissioned to better weave the Gateway Arch and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial into the fabric of downtown St. Louis.  The Old Cathedral is collaborating with this initiative by restoring its structure beneath one of our nation’s most prestigious and recognizable monuments.

As the Expansion Memorial commemorates Thomas Jefferson and the pioneers who broke open the American West, the Old Cathedral sits in the center of the memorial park and serves as a reminder of the importance of faith in the movement west and  the faith-filled people whose lives gave witness to the spiritual values that were so important to Colonial America.

Campaign Leadership 

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson    
Archbishop of St. Louis

Reverend Monsignor Jerome D. Billing
Pastor of the Old Cathedral

Reverend Richard J. Quirk, Ph.D.
Associate Pastor of the Old Cathedral

Campaign Co-Chairs:

Shirley and Charles Drury, Sr.
Don C. Musick, III

Campaign Vice Chairs:
John H. Basler
F. Gilbert Bickel
Thomas P. Dunne, Sr.
Jack E. Pohrer
John R. Roberts
Donald L. Ross
Timothy G. Sansone
Thomas F. Schlafly
Todd R. Schnuck, Jr.
Steve Smith
Timothy H. Trout, Sr.

For more information, please contact:
Aimee Whitelaw
aimee@ahwhitelaw.com