St. Josaphat Basilica illuminates its dome

Part of efforts to restore 120-year-old church

The illuminated St. Josaphat Basilica dome. Lila Aryan Photography
The illuminated St. Josaphat Basilica dome. Lila Aryan Photography

Last updated on October 1st, 2019 at 05:23 pm

The giant dome atop St. Josaphat Basilica in Milwaukee’s Lincoln Village neighborhood on the city’s south side has long stood as a landmark, but the structure now stands out more than ever before.

That’s because a new lighting system has been installed to illuminate the iconic dome at night.

The dome was lit for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 21, at around 7:20 p.m. during a ceremony and community event hosted by the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has worked to restore and preserve the 120-year-old church building since 1991.

“It’s a building that should be highlighted for its beauty and it should be lit up to focus on the fact that it’s been in Lincoln village for 120 years,” said Colleen Cheney-Trawiński, executive director of the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation. “It’s a place of worship. It’s highlighting the faith of the church, it’s highlighting the neighborhood and it’s certainly highlighting the community around it. And it was very important to really give it the true prominence in the skyline of Milwaukee.”

LED lights were installed at 26 locations surrounding St. Josaphat, including new lamp posts and rooftops of various businesses and buildings, making the year-long project a community effort, Cheney-Trawiński said.

“We had to go out to the neighborhood, get permission, get people to buy into this and most people were excited by it,” she said. “They saw the value in lighting the dome. So, it really has brought the community together.”

The total cost for the dome lighting project was $400,000, which came from private donations.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.

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