St. Michael The Archangel Church
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The land for St. Michael the Archangel Church was donated by John McIntyre in two lots in 1837 and 1838. St. Michael was the second oldest surviving Catholic Church in Indiana. In its infancy, the church welcomed immigrants, particularly of Irish descent, who came to Madison to build the Madison-Indianapolis Railroad. It is believed that some of the stones from the railroad “cuts” were used to construct the gothic style edifice.
The building is built of partially dressed stone. Windows on the east and west side have a pointed arch head with c. 1890’s leaded stained glass windows. The windows on the south façade have metal hood moldings over the door and two windows. Above the main entrance a carved stone roundel replaces an earlier circular vent. An octagonal, wood-frame spire covered with copper rises on the stone tower base at the rear of the church. There are four hanging bells in the tower. The ceiling of the church has a double curve, sometimes referred to as an “open book” design.
Although it is uncertain who designed the church, the young Francis Costigan, architect and builder, a member of the pioneer parish, is considered by many to have been involved with the design and building of the church. Costigan would later design and build the residences of J.F.D. Lanier and Charles Shrewsbury as well as other Madison buildings.
St. Michael served as a focal point for significant events in the life of the Catholic community. As a result of the renewed Liturgy of Vatican II in the 1960s the local Catholic community moved to one church facility concept. With that came the decision of the Archdiocese and the local parish to discontinue the use of a Church in the building. Although no religious ceremonies presently can be held, it continues to be used for cultural presentations and special events. Yunker Endowment provides operational funding for St. Michael the Archangel. Tours of the building can be made by appointment only.
The property is one of 15 historic properties owned and operated by Historic Madison, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to education, promotion, and assistance in preservation and restoration of historic resources which protect our heritage and enhance the quality of life in Madison, Indiana. For additional information contact: Historic Madison, Inc. 500 West Street, Madison, Indiana 812-265-2967. firstname.lastname@example.org