Chapel of the Immaculate Conception
The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception (also called the Immaculate Conception Chapel) is a historic Catholic church located on the outskirts of downtown Rapid City. The one-story structure was built in 1909 with locally sourced stone and was named the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It is a fine example example of Romanesque Revival architecture. The church features two chimneys, a square bell tower with a spire resembling a pyramid, and stained glass windows. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Backstory and Context
Catholics first arrived in what would become South Dakota the 1700s when French fur traders (and their families) began to settle here. French missionary Father Pierre Jean DeSmet, S.J. arrived in 1839. In 1902, Pope Leo XIII established the Dioceses of Lead (the predecessor to the Diocese of Rapid City), to which the Church of the Immaculate Conception became a parish church. The church was officially dedicated in 1911. In 1930, the Diocese of Rapid City was created and the church became the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It held this title until 1962 when the diocese built the much larger Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The diocese eventually designated the church as a chapel. During its history, over 5,000 baptisms, 947 funerals, and around 1,500 weddings took place in the chapel.
Garrigan, Mary. "After 100 years, chapel has colorful history." Rapid-City Journal. July 2, 2011. https://rapidcityjournal.com/lifestyles/after-years-chapel-has-colorful-history/article_5b215e62-a432-11e0-8194-001cc4c002e0.html.
"Historical Timeline of the Diocese of Rapid City." Diocese of Rapid City. Accessed November 3, 2019. https://www.rapidcitydiocese.org/diocesan-history.
Jeffrey Beall, via Wikimedia Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Immaculate_Conception_(Rapid_City,_South_Dakota)#/media/File:Church_of_the_Immaculate_Conception_(Rapid_City,_South_Dakota).JPG