St. Ambrose Cathedral
607 High Street
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, 50309
St. Ambrose Cathedral is a historic building located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. It serves as a parish church and as the seat of the Diocese of Des Moines in the Catholic Church.
The Rev. Michael Flavin started construction of the present church in 1890 and it was completed the following year. Flavin had seen a model for a high altar designed by Tiffany & Company and displayed at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He had a copy of it made of marble in Italy for St. Ambrose.
St. Ambrose Church was chosen to be the cathedral of the Diocese of Des Moines when it was established by Pope Pius X on August 12, 1911.
The cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival style that is similar to the historic churches found in southern France. The Bedford stone structure measures 185 by 102 feet (56 by 31 m). The interior is a large open expanse that is free of pillars, which was a hallmark of Egan's style.
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