Saint Stanislaus, Strip District

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Strip District

Parish History

St. Stanislaus Kostka was established in 1875 as the first Polish parish in the diocese.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the arrival of Polish immigrants to the city beginning around mid-century.  At first these Poles attended the nearest parish, but eventually many of them began to congregate at either St. Wencelaus Bohemian parish on the North Side or St. Michael German parish on the South Side.  In 1872, a group of Poles met to discuss the possibility of forming their own parish, but decided that the community could not support a parish at that time.  However, the Poles persevered in their efforts and on August 15, 1875, the bishop appointed a Polish priest to organize a parish.

In October of 1875, the parish purchased an old Presbyterian church.  The church was renovated and dedicated in November of 1875.  The congregation soon outgrew its church.  In 1887 the parish sold its church and purchased land upon which they built a school with a space used as a temporary church.  This building was dedicated on April 15, 1888.  The third floor of the school building contained a hall which was used as the church.  The first Mass in the new building was celebrated on April 21, 1888.

In 1891 additional land was purchased for a new church.  The cornerstone was laid in 1891 and the church was dedicated on July 31, 1892.  The church underwent major renovations in the 1920's, including repairs to the roof, the addition of wall frescoes and a new organ.  The church suffered significant damage in the 1936 flood.  The water level rose to the point that the pews were literally afloat.  Additional damage to the church occurred on December 17, 1936, when an explosion in the Pittsburgh Banana Co. building damaged the church's windows and crucifix.  Within a few years, the church towers were lowered. 

The church has had additional restoration and renovation work since then, the most recent being in the year 2002.  However, while the church remains, the parish does not.  In 1993, St. Stanislaus merged with St. Patrick and St. Elizabeth to form a new parish, St. Patrick-St. Stanislaus Kostka.  St. Stanislaus Church remains open and continues to serve the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Stanislaus School, which served as a temporary church from 1888 to 1892.  The photo was taken in 1932.
St. Stanislaus Church, 2002
Interior of St. Stanislaus Church, 1932

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