The Basilica of St. Josaphat was built in 1901 and was designed by architect Erhard Brielmaier, and features one of the largest copper domes in the world.
St. Josaphat’s congregation outgrew their original location and in 1896 Pastor Wilhelm Grutza commissioned Brielmaier to design a new building. The plans intentionally resembled St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Much of the Basilica was constructed with salvaged material from the then recently demolished Federal Building in Chicago – over 200,000 tons of scrap was hauled up to Milwaukee on 500 railroad flatcars.
Since its completion, St, Josaphat’s has suffered a number of bumps and bruises, including storm damage that knocked loose blocks near the top of the building in 1947, and strong winds that tore a sheet of copper from the dome in 1986. As a result, large-scale restoration began in 1991.
Photo courtesy of Instagram user @tjuttke (www.tjuttke.com).