Immaculate Heart of Mary, Polish Hill

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It is impossible to get a good picture of Immaculate Heart of Mary without a forest of cables in front of it. But part of the magnificence of the building is the way it rises up from an impossibly cramped and sloping lot in a crowded hillside neighborhood; it is more impressive because it can never be seen all at once.

The madly ambitious Polish railroad workers who built this church with their own hands chose a design that intentionally resembles St. Peter’s in Rome. The rest of the neighborhood is still modest and picturesquely shabby, but Immaculate Heart of Mary is a building that could easily pass for a cathedral.