Sts. Peter and Paul Church

Honor Award for Excellence in Reconstruction
Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Ellinwood (Barton County)

The St. Peter and Paul Church was originally built in 1892, replacing the original wood frame church that had been built in 1876. The parish had been established by German settlers in 1875, and was the first in the area around Ellinwood. The Gothic revival style church was built to replicate the churches the immigrants had known in Europe. The interior of the church has retained all of its original ornate altars, statuary, and pews created by the German craftsmen. The church closed as an active parish in 1986, and is now privately owned by the Sts. Peter & Paul Heritage Association, a volunteer group determined to properly restore and maintain the church. On May 4, 2007, a tornado destroyed the original tower and steeple. The Church was added to the Kansas Register of Historic places in December of that year. The Association decided to reconstruct the tower and steeple as closely as possible, a task made harder by the fact that no original plans could be found. Luckily, ample photographic evidence over the years allowed brick courses to be counted, and the height of the original steeple to be calculated. Mortar analysis was performed to match the original structure, and the bricks used were selected to match the originals. Some of the original stone was salvaged and reused, and the original copper cross and ball, salvaged after the storm, were measured to be recreated. The new aluminum steeple tops the reconstructed tower, once again a landmark that can be seen for miles around.


State historic preservation tax credits were utilized to fund this reconstruction.


The project team included: Sts. Peter and Paul Heritage Association; DGM Consultants; Seltmann Masonry; Wichita Coring and Cutting; Kansas Brick and Tile; Salina Concrete Products, Inc.; Elmwood Reclaimed Timber; Roofmasters Roofing and Sheet Metal; Leon’s Welding and Fabrication; J.T. Lardner Cut Stone; The Verdin Company; Campbellsville Industries, Inc.; Valmont/Salina Galvanizing; Blue Star Contracting; Kansas State Historical Society; Sunflower Bank; and Farmers Bank and Trust.