The heart of our neighborhood
In evaluating the pros and cons of land use issues affecting our communities we are, in the highest sense, called upon to act as community stewards, entrusted with the thoughtful and responsible management of our community’s unique assets and resources while minimizing threats and taking advantage of opportunities.
Evanston…A History of Education, Music and Faith
Walnut Hills High School, est 1931
King Records, EST 1943
St. Mark, est 1906
History & legacy
In 1904, the Missionaries of the Precious Blood expressed interest in establishing a parish in Evanston, a new middle-class suburb of Cincinnati where there were over 100 Catholic families, many of Polish and German descent. Permission was granted to establish the St. Mark parish in 1905. The first services were held at the residence of Mary Klinckhamer. A temporary frame building was soon erected on land that Mary donated, with a cornerstone for the combination church and school laid on April 29, 1906. The new building was dedicated on October 28. A convent was added in 1909 for the Sisters of the Precious Blood who operated the school. The school and church were both at capacity by 1911.
Architect Henry J. Schlacks was sought after to design a larger church for St. Mark. It was requested that the new building be inspired by St. Marie in Trastevere and St. Marie in Cosmedio, Italy. Schlacks was the founder of the Architecture School at Notre Dame University and was the architect of Xavier University’s original campus buildings and other notable Cincinnati landmarks. Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers served as the associate architect
The cornerstone for the new church was laid in 1914. The new building opened in 1916 at the cost of $150,000. The exterior boasted mild brown brick with terracotta components, colored to match Roman Travertine stone, with a Verona facade and imported orange Roman tiles. The new complex also included a 130-foot campanile. The interior included three consecrated altars built from Botticino marble. The high altar contained images of the twelve apostles, surmounted by a baldachino comprised of Breccia marble. The side altars featured Lady as Queen of Angels and Mother Hen, and St. Joseph as Scion of the House of David and Patron of the Universal Church. A mural in the sanctuary, which depicted the Lamb of God, was painted by Leo Mirabile. Several statues included Sacred Heart, St. Anne, St. Mark and St. Rose, all constructed of Carrara marble. Zettler of Munich, Germany crafted the stained glass windows.
St. Mark’s sanctuary had a capacity of 850 persons, with a choir gallery and two votive chapels holding 150 persons total. The school burned in 1922 but was replaced in 1923. A large pipe organ, built by Kilgen, was installed in 1933. A bowling alley and youth club were added to the church in the 1940’s. A Mission House for the Previous Blood Fathers, designed by A.M. Strauss of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was built in 1950. The house replaced the original frame church, and contained residences for the pastor and assistant pastors, the mission band, religious instruction for St. Mark’s Cathedral information center and meeting rooms for parish societies.