May 31, 1871 - Basilica cornerstone laid

Following the Civil War, Notre Dame saw its population increase and needed to expand its footprint to match its now larger purpose. The first Sacred Heart Church was a bit outdated and becoming too small, especially in the shadow of the recently expanded Main Building (not the current Main Building with golden dome, but its predecessor). Once it was deemed necessary for a new church to be built and sufficient funds were raised to begun construction, the cornerstone was laid today.

Construction began while the old Sacred Heart Church still stood. Father Sorin's original inspiration for the new building was the Church of the Gesł in Rome. The interior would be laid out in the form of a Latin cross. The original plans Sorin had prepared were too ornate for the University's budget. Instead, long time pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Father Alexis Granger, and Brother Charles Harding put together a more subtle design.

To learn much much more about the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, find a copy of Thomas Schlereth's A Spire of Faith: The University of Notre Dame's Sacred Heart Church.

Keywords: basilica, sacred heart, civil war, main building, dome, father sorin, father granger, brother harding

Posted On: 2012-05-31 00:15:02 by IrishTrpt07


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