Heritage Architecture Studio, LLC
Revitalizing communities with inspired building reuse

Church of St Peter

Church of St. Peter

Client: Church of St. Peter
Mendota, Minnesota

Background and Issue

Located on the east bank of the Mississippi river, the Church of St. Peter was the first catholic parish in Minnesota.  The 1853 historic stone church was constructed of limestone quarried on site.  In the 1970s, a classroom and office building with a multipurpose room were built on this site.  The congregation met in the multipurpose room for many years, but it had some major drawbacks: bad acoustics, poor site lines and inadequate capacity for the growing congregation. It also did not reflect the traditions of the catholic faith.  


The classrooms and offices were retained, but the old multipurpose room was demolished.  The new addition included a new sanctuary, gathering space, event hall, and an elevator to provide access to both levels of the classroom and office building. There is no steeple on the new church, in deference to the steeple on the historic church.  The main hallway of the building is on axis with the historic church steeple.  Limestone, that was removed from the 1970s multipurpose room, was use at the alter wall and as an accent wall in the gathering space.

Heidi Y. Granke was the project architect for this project while at BWBR Architects.