St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (Interior)


by Jason Cope

Architect: Paul H. Macneil
Alternative Name: St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church Interior
Location: 8th and Oak Sts., Calumet
Completed: 1908

Postcard view of interior of St. Joseph’s. Keweenaw National Historical Park.

The Slovenian congregation of St. Joseph’s hired Paul Macneil to design the interior of its new structure. Construction had begun on the church in 1903 to the designs of Shand & Eastman, but that firm was no longer functioning by the time the congregation was ready to furnish the interior. A newspaper article written at the time of the dedication described Macneil’s work: “Upon entering the church one is immediately impressed with the perfect blending of the color scheme, from the wainscot to the cove of the vaulted arches and to the top of the high arched ceiling. The ceilings and walls are mainly panel work with emblematical center pieces in each panel, the color scheme is principally dark reds, blues and ivory. All coves and angles are richly decorated with massive stucco cornices, colored in ivory and embellished with gold leaf, the main cornice at the spring or foot of the arched ceiling conceal rows of many incandescent lights which at night illuminate the ceiling, while the lights themselves are invisible to the congregation. The large sanctuary arch as well as the side altar arches are similarly illuminated from cornice lights and these with the many small lamps of various colors which adorn the altars form a beautiful light effect.”1

The newspaper also praised the acoustics of the building. A painting of the Last Judgment above the main altar and paintings of angels above the side altars also ornamented the interior. An organ in the balcony and stained-glass windows were in place when the building was dedicated on June 28, 1908.2

Buildings by Paul H. Macneil in the Copper Country


  1. “Dedication of Fine Church a Notable Event,” Calumet News, 29 June 1908.
  2. “Dedication of Fine Church a Notable Event,” Calumet News, 29 June 1908.