In 1896 Polish immigrants were pouring into the southside of Milwaukee. Parishioners numbered more than 12,000. Rev. Wilhelm Grutza had a vision – build a grand church, one the community would be proud of, would honor the Polish heritage and be a destination for people from around the world. He had learned the U.S. Post Office and Customs House located in Chicago was slated for demolition. To save parishioners $30,000 of material costs, that entire building was dismantled and loaded on 500 railcars. The granite pillars were salvaged from the courthouse. Visitors to The Basilica will experience inspiration beyond their imaginations. Docents will tell the captivating story of faith, sacrifice and triumph that is The Basilica’s history.
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