8 Wonders of Kansas architecture

An 8 Wonder of Kansas Architecture

Holy Cross Church, Pfeifer

Address: Pfeifer Ave., Pfeifer, KS 67660
Phone: 785.735.2395
Website: http://contentcat.fhsu.edu/digital/collection/p15732coll13

The Holy Cross Church in Pfeifer was voted as one of  the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture because it is the finest example of a Gothic-style church in the state.

It features a rib-vaulted ceiling supported on delicate, decorative columns and pointed arches for the windows and doorways. The structure is 165 feet long, 50 feet wide at the nave, and 75 feet wide at the transepts. The central spire is 165 feet high, believed to be the tallest Gothic church spire in Kansas. Each of the two side spires is 100 feet high. Modeled after similar church designs in Europe (especially Bavaria), the post rock limestone building was begun in 1915 under direction of Father Peter Burkard and was dedicated on May 3, 1918. Stained-glass windows and additional interior decoration were added in later years.

Holy Cross is known as "the two-cent church" because parish families paid two cents for each bushel of wheat they produced to fund construction. Parishioners also donated much of the labor, including the quarrying and delivery of the stone. Total cost of the church was $56,000.

On July 1, 1993 the decision was made by the Diocese of Salina to dissolve the parish. However the church itself remains open to the public on a daily basis and is in pristine condition. In order to preserve this magnificent structure the remaining few parishioners formed Holy Cross Charities, Inc., a non-profit corporation that depends solely upon donations. Contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 5, Pfeifer, KS 67660. The church is available for funerals, weddings, and other services and the public is welcome to come view the church.

The town of Pfeifer is located 10 miles south of Victoria on the south bank of the Smoky Hill River. As you travel south on Pfeifer Road and come down onto the river you will behold the breathtaking sight of a majestic gothic spire rising above the wheat fields. Also know as "The Cross in the Valley", the church will stand for years as a lasting monument to the strong and lively people whose generosity and self denial made it possible.

E-mail: gibandcarol@lycos.com

Open daily 8 a.m.-8 p.m.