Cudahy, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed Holy Family Catholic Church Complex (Cudahy, Milwaukee County) on the State Register of Historic Places in February of 2021.
Cudahy’s first Catholic congregation, the ethnically German St. Frederick’s, was established in 1896. As the congregation grew to include more ethnically Polish individuals, planning began to build another church. Holy Family Roman Catholic Church was established as a mission church of St. Adalbert’s Roman Catholic Church in south Milwaukee, which was established in 1898. The primarily Polish congregation of Holy Family built their first edifice in 1901 at the northeast corner of E. Underwood and S. Swift avenues. A rectory was built in 1905, and a school was erected in 1910. The latter building also provided accommodations for the Felician Sisters who taught the Holy Family students.
By the 1920s, the expanding Holy Family congregation was in need of a larger church. The congregation decided to demolish the existing building and construct a new church in the same location. The new, Neo-Gothic Revival style church was completed in 1931. Over time, the need for additional classroom space grew. A Colonial Revival style convent was constructed in 1954, and the school was demolished and replaced with a new structure in 1958.
Although the convent was sold in the early 1980s, the congregation continued to worship in the church until 2000. The school served the congregation until its closing in 2004. Despite the 2018 demolition of the rectory, the remaining Holy Family Roman Catholic Church buildings—church, convent and school—comprise the typical components of a Catholic church campus.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.