Sacred Heart Mission, Coeur d’Alene Idaho

Built in 1853, the Mission of the Sacred Heart claims to be the oldest standing building in Idaho. Jesuit missionaries directed natives in the Coeur d’Alene tribe to build this rather large church on a commanding hilltop next to an outlet of the lake. It became a significant thoroughfare for commerce. It also has a magnificent view.

A classical appearance is attempted with columns in the front facade, and a billboard front atop that which reminds one of saloons in an old western town. Compacted earth surrounds a heavy timber structure, with cheap exterior sheathing and wood tile roofing. The sod material in the walls and roof create a well insulated space.

The interior space seems taller because of double story windows. Several other structures still stand from the Jesuit complex that helped introduce Europe to the west.

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