ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH

2450 Atwood Avenue

 

St. Bernard's congregation was established in 1907. Services were first held in Father Fisher's house on Milwaukee Street and then at the Fair Oaks village hall. The first combination church and school building, a simple boxy structure, was erected in 1908-09. The current edifice, designed by noted local architect, John J. Flad, was erected in 1927. When the new church was built, it was the largest Catholic church in the city. It is significant architecturally as an imposing example of the Gothic revival style, constructed of Madison's beautiful golden-colored sandstone. The front facade of the church is dominated by a large square tower that is a visual landmark in the neighborhood. Most of the windows are the original stained and painted glass designed by the German artist, Kurt Drewes. The addition of windows of an abstract design as well as interior changes were carried out in 1968. The social and religious functions of St. Bernard's have been a significant part of the lives of many east side families.