History of the Complex
The four buildings of the Twin Spires complex are, from north to south, the church, the rectory, the convent and the school. All four were built by the Immaculate Conception parish, which was originally formed to serve a congregation of German immigrants.
Built in the 1870s, the rectory and convent are among the oldest buildings still standing in St. Joseph.
One of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in northwest Missouri, the Immaculate Conception Church was designed by Edmund J. Eckel, who designed many of St. Joseph's architectural jewels. It was erected in 1908, after the previous church building was destroyed by fire. Its stained glass windows were imported from Innsbruck, Austria, and are embedded 18 inches into the walls. They depict the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus, from her birth to her coronation as Queen of Heaven.
The altars were rescued from a nearby parish, called Saints Peter and Paul, which served St. Joseph's Polish community until it closed and merged with the Immaculate Conception parish in 1978. The combined parish adopted the name Queen of the Apostles to commemorate both parishes.
The Twin Spires Story
When the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City / St. Joseph decided to close the Queen of the Apostles parish, a hue and cry arose against their plan to raze all four buildings and sell the land. Almost overnight, a group of parishioners joined with local preservationists to save the spires. Within four months, Twin Spires, Inc., had been formed, and the Diocese deeded the buildings, along with a grant of $75,000, to the new group.
The City of St. Joseph matched the grant and the group used the funds to renovate the former school building for lease by a group who works with the mentally challenged. That financial foundation and the efforts of a dedicated group returned the four-building complex as a community resource. The rectory was renovated as a group home, and the church building is was used as a wedding chapel, meeting place, and concert hall for several years.
View a photo gallery of the Twin Spires building.