Saints Peter and Paul Church
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Saints Peter and Paul Church is a cathedral in Lewiston, Maine. The imposing structure is a cultural monument and the second-largest Roman Catholic Church in New England.
Construction of the church began in 1873, which resulted in a small, brick Gothic structure with one tall tower. The first church staff strived to serve Lewistown mill workers, descendants of French-Canadians. The structure was torn down in 1895, and a new church was consecrated on October 23, 1938.
During the 1960s and 1970s, huge cracks appeared in the towers, and the church began to deteriorate. Renovation work was begun and continued for about seven years, and the structure's original charm was regained. The Stations of the Cross were removed, painstakingly restored, and remounted. A new zoned heating system and handicapped-access elevator were added.
The French Gothic, granite church structure is noted for its heaven-piercing, 168-foot-tall towers. A great rose window was modeled after that of the cathedral at Chartres, France.
In the gallery, high above the rear of the church, there is an elegant Opus 1588 organ with 4,000 pipes.
The 300-foot-long center aisle and the sheer vastness of the church are remarkable. The church has enough wooden pews to seat 2,200 worshipers.
Today, the church is open for group tours. Roman Catholic services are offered.
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