by Connie Cherba

Steeple Square, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit located in the former St. Mary’s Parish Complex, is poised to celebrate its ten-year anniversary – a decade dedicated to “restoring economic prosperity, environmental integrity, and social and cultural vibrancy to the Dubuque community.” The nonprofit is a center for “personal growth, celebration, and community empowerment” and encompasses a city block that houses the Steeple Square Community Event Center, Marita Theisen Childcare Center, Maria House, and Francis Apartments.

The historic campus of Steeple Square is well-known to Dubuque residents as the former St. Mary’s Parish Complex, a Roman Catholic parish centered around St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 15th and White Streets. Built between 1864 and 1867, the church, with its soaring steeple, became a religious center for German immigrant parishioners. But by May of 2010, the congregation had dwindled, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church celebrated a final mass and permanently closed its doors. Except for the 1870 convent, the parish buildings stood vacant for three years.

To read this and other featured articles in their entirety, pickup the August 2023 issue of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe for convenient delivery by mail, or call (563) 557-1914. Single issues are also available in print at area newsstands and digitally via the Issuu platform.

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Julien’s Journal, the Dubuque area lifestyle magazine, is a monthly regional feature magazine for and about Dubuque and the tri-state region.


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