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Temple San Ignacio de Loyola Addition
El Paso, Texas


Description: Temple San Ignacio de Loyola addition
Other Names: St. Ignatius of Loyola Church
Address: 1301 Third Street, at South Park Street, northeast corner, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: religious: Roman Catholic Church
Original Client:
Date: opened in 1905 1912/1921
Condition: extant, in use as a church

Architect or Firm: Gustavus A. Trost (for remodeling of facade and towers)
Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost (for remodeling of facade and towers)
Dimensions and Orientation: 83 feet wide and 150 feet deep; faces southwest
Budget/Cost: $22,000 for 1913 portion

Foundation: probably rubble stone, faced
Wall Materials: brick
Roofing Materials: tin
Other Materials Used: wooden towers, with metal-clad cupolas
Remodeling and Additions: 1922

Location of Drawings: none known to exist
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Ponsford 195, view of exterior from the southwest, showing remodeled facade and towers

Bibliography: (1) Work Starts on $22,000 Church, El Paso Herald, February 5, 1913, page 5 (gives budget, location, dimensions, and reports on a preliminary plan to have a single tower in the center, a lantern dome belfry [the church as completed has two towers])
(2) El Paso Herald, August 26, 1916, Home Beautiful Section, page 7 (photograph of exterior of original portion)
(3) Snapshots of the Churches of El Paso, El Paso Herald, January 28, 1922, page 19 (photograph of new porch and towers, as part of a montage of El Paso church buildings)
(4) Cleofas Calleros, Historia de la Parroquia de San Ignacio de Loyola, El Paso, Texas, traducida del ingles por Carlos D. Campillo (El Paso: American Printing Company, 1935) (See notes under Remarks, below.)
(5) Cleofas Calleros, St. Ignatius Parish Celebrates Golden Jubilee, El Paso Times, May 22, 1955 (history of the Parish; date of August 22, 1913, given as date for dedication of original portion of building; photograph of exterior of remodeled building)
(6) Cleofas Calleros, Chamizal Church, Bitterly Fought, Will Celebrate Golden Anniversary, El Paso Times, June 24, 1955 (history of the parish, announcement of golden jubilee publication, cited below)
(7) Cleofas Calleros, Jubileo de Oro de mi Parroquia, 1905-1955(El Paso: American Printing Co., 1955): page 6 (close up of original facade in 1917, with choir and orchestra assembled); page 12 (photographs comparing original and remodeled facades, with captions describing the changes made, but with an evidently incorrect date that contradicts the one supplied by Calleros in item 4, above); and pages 14, 20, 24 and 25 (photographs of interior)
(8) A copy of a clipping from the archives of St. Joseph Church, El Paso  has not been completely identified, but it is from an El Paso newspaper, probably the El Paso Herald, dating from some time in 1924. It includes this sentence: Two years ago a [unreadable word] was put on the church, the plans for which had been designed by Messrs. Trost & Trost, Architects.


Remarks: The remodeling of San Ignacio by Gustavus A. Trost included calefaction, or the installation of a heating system, bringing the upper part of the facade forward to enlarge the choir loft, and increasing the height of the towers and making them more Baroque in appearance. These changes occurred concurrently; the new facade was dedicated on April 2, 1922.
It is also worth noting that a major commission for a Roman Catholic institution in El Paso, Loretto Academy , was given to Trost & Trost during the same period, and that Gustavus Trost had a close personal and working relationship with Mother Superior Praxedes Carty of Loretto Academy. Work by Trost & Trost on the plans for Loretto Academy was already under way by April 4, 1922 (see: New Loretto Site Bought Near Fort Bliss, El Paso Herald, April 4, 1922, pageú3). Thus Mother Superior Praxedes might have served as the contact that brought the San Ignacio commission to Trost & Trost.

One of the reasons we believe Gustavus Trost was the firm member primarily responsible for the work on San Ignacio is that there is an Italian Renaissance feeling about the remodeled central portion of the facade, and he was the only member of the Trost firm to travel to Italy. Two of the sketches he made in Italy were published on unnumbered pages in: Chicago Architectural Club, Catalogue of the Fourteenth Annual Exhibition in the Galleries of the Art Institute, Michigan Ave. and Adams Street, from Thursday, March Twenty eighth, to Monday, April Fifteenth, A. D. MDCCCCI (Chicago: Chicago Architectural Club, 1901). The remodeled central portion of the facade of San Ignacio does contain some general resemblance to one of the monuments of the early Renaissance: the Foundling Hospital in Florence, begun in 1419 by Filippo Brunelleschi (1337-1446), and in particular to the left most bay of the facade. Gustavus Trost almost certainly would have seen this building during his Italian trip, and all of the members of his firm would have been familiar with pictures of it.

Item 4 in the Bibliography, above, is especially significant. The book listed is the earliest comprehensive history of an El Paso church. On page 98 the dedication of the new facade is dated: El dos de abril de 1922 se bendijo la neuva fachada dela iglesia y el rgano reci‚n instalado. On April 2, 1922, the new facade and the recently installed organ were dedicated. On page 99 is a photograph of the remodeled towers under construction, labeled Neuva fachada, abril, and 1922. On page 100 is a photograph labeled ‘Nueva fachada’. A photograph of the interior of the church is shown on page 43; a photograph of the organ is shown on page 98, labeled Bendicin, Abril 2, 1922. However, the book contains no mention of Trost& Trost, or of any other architects.

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1993