Breuer Buildings on the Campus of St. John’s University


Breuer Buildings at Saint John’s

 The date in parenthesis is the date of construction.

Monastery Residence Building (1955)
Abbey Church (1958)
Saint Thomas Hall (1959) 
Abbot Peter Engel Science Center (1965)
Alcuin Library (1966)
St. Bernard Hall (1967)
St. Boniface Hall (1967)
St. Patrick Hall (1967)
Collegeville Institute, formerly called the Ecumencial Institute (1968) 
Warner Palaestra and the Warner Palestra Sculpture (1973)
Bush Center (HMML) (1975) 

Breuer Bibliography

For more on Breuer, see   Breuer at St. John’s; the Breuer Centenary Celebration; and theMarcel Breuer papers, 1920-1986  from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

“Abbaye de St. John, Minnesota,” Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Vol. 25, July/August 1954, 85-7, illus., plans.

“Abbaye St. John Monastere Benedictin, Collegeville, Etats-Unis,” Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Vol. 33, February/March 1962, 40-47, illus., plans.

Abbey and University Church of Saint John the Baptist, 5th ed, a 36-page illustrated booklet about the Abbey Church, 1980.

“Altar Canopy Abbey Church of St. John’s Collegeville, Minn.,” Architecture and Building News, Vol. 221/24, June 13, 1962, 686-87, illus., plates.

“Ancient Religious Ideas and Modern Materials Found Compatible in New Abbey for St. Johns,” Northwest Architect, Vol. 18, September/October 1954, 34-38, illus., plans.

“Art and Architecture—The Present: A Survey of Developments Since 1959,” Craft Horizons, Vol. XXII No.3, May/June 1962, p.10, illus.

“L’Aventure du Nouveau Saint-John’s,” L’Art d’ Eglise, No. 106, 1959, 145-54, illus., plans.

“A Benedictine Monastery by Marcel Breuer,” Architectural Forum, Vol. 101, July 1954, 148-155, illus., photos.

“A Benedictine Monastery by Marcel Breuer,” Kokusai-Kentiku, Vol. 21, No. 9, September 1954, 13-17, illus., photos. [reprint of Architectural Forum]

“Benedictines Build a Modern Monastery,” Jubilee, Vol. 2, No. 3, July 1954, 36-39, illus.

Bethune, A.   “The ‘New St. John’s’ and the Meaning of Orientation,” Four Quarters, Vol. 8, May 1959, 11-10.

Blake, Peter. “The Selective Eye of Marcel Breuer,” House Beautiful, March 1967, 153-160.

Breuer, Marcel.   “Sun and Shadow,” Liturgical Arts, Vol. 25, Fall 1957, 61.

Breuer: Saint John’s Celebrates Marcel Breuer, Architect,” 2001.  Pamphlet, 12 pages.

Carlson, Scott.  ” Marcel Breuer at St. John’s,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. 54, No. 26, March 7, 2008, p. B9.

“Ceremonies Attended by 6000,” American Benedictine Review, R. 7, Summer 1956, 161-63.  

“Christ in Concrete: Marcel Breuer’s Church of St. John the Baptist for the Benedictine Abbey of St. John’s at Collegeville, Minn.,” Interiors, 121, February 1962, 10.

“Church for a Monastic Community,” Arts and Architecture, Vol. 71, No. 6, June 1954, 14-15, illus., plans.

Ciampani, Pina. “Saint John’s: Chiesa Pilota d’America,” Rocca, Vol. 23, No. 3, February 1964, 39-41, illus.

Dean, B.   “St. John’s New Abbey Church: Theological, Liturgical Aspect,” Scriptorium, Vol. 20, 1961, 1-29.

Engh, J. and R.   “The World of Art at St. John’s,” St. Joseph Magazine, Vol. 65, December 1964, 23-5, photo essay.

Evans, I.   “St. John’s Abbey Church: An Appraisal,” Worship, Vol. 35, S 1961, 515-21, il.

Excavation Complete for Monastic Wing,” The Record, June 25, 1954, p.1.

Gatje, Robert F.   Marcel Breuer: A Memoir.  NY: The Monacelli Press, 2000

Hedahl, Pastor Susan Karen. “Ambiguity in Glass: A History of the North Wall Window in the Abbey Church of St. John the Baptist, Collegeville, Minnesota,” 1983.

“Hovda, Robert W. “The Arts in the Service of Worship, St. John’s Abbey,” Catholic Management Journal, Vol. 5, No.1, February 1962, 18-19.

Hyman, Isabelle.  Marcel Breuer, Architect: The Career and the Buildings. NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2001.

Jacob, Bernard.  “St. John’s: A Continuing Tale Conceived by a Master,” Minneapolis Tribune, March 14, 1981, p. 1S. 

Jones, Cranston. “Breuer: The Lost Modern Architect,” Horizon, Vol. IX, No. 3, Summer 1967, 32-40.

LaForge, J.   “Democratic Architecture,” America, Vol. 97, April 6 1957, 5.

Lavanoux, Maurice.   “Collegeville Revisited,” Liturgical Arts, Vol. 22, February 1954, 44-47, 53-55, illus., plans.

Lavanoux, Maurice. “The Reality of a Dream,” Liturgical Arts, Vol. 31, November 1962, 4-7.

Maeder, T.   “St. John’s First Abbey Church,” Scriptorium, Vol. 20, 1961, 31-75, il.

 ” Marcel Breuer – Architect,” The Record, May 22, 1953, p. 2.

“Marcel Breuer at St. John’s,” Architectural Forum, Vol. 128, May 1968, 40-57, illus., plans.

“Marcel Breuer Designs a Monastery,” Arts Digest, Vol. 29, No. 2, October 15, 1954, 12-13.

“Marcel Breuer El Monasterio Benedictino de San Juan, en Minnesota,” Revista Informes de la Construction, No. 77, 1956.

“Marcel Breuer Monastery in Minnesota,” Art in America, Vol. 45, Fall 1957, 26-7.

“Marcel Breuer:   The Buildings at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota,” Design Quarterly, No. 53, 1961, entire issue is devoted to this topic.

Marcel Lajos Breuer,” The Record, June 16, 1957, p. 4.

“A Master Plan for the Next 100 Years,” Architectural Record, Vol. 130, November 1961, 132-42, illus., plans.

May, J. L.   “Great American Abbey,” Priest, Vol. 13, December 1957, 977-80.

Meinberg, Cloud H.   “La Nouvelle Eglise de Saint-John’s,” Art d’Eglise, Vol. 29, No. 117, October, November, December 1961, 97-107, illus., plans.

Millette, B.   “St. John’s New Abbey Church: A Chronicle of Construction,” Scriptorium, Vol. 20, 1961, 77-103, illus.

“Modern Fortress for an Ancient Faith,” Architectural Forum, Vol. 115, November 1961, 130, illus., plans.

“Les Monasteres,” Art Chretien, No. 6, 1957, 28-34

“Monastery in Minn.,” Art in America, Vol. 45, Fall 1957, 26-7.

“Monastery in Modern Mood, St. John’s Benedictine Abbey, Collegeville, Minn.,” Architectural Forum, Vol. 105, December 1956, 107-9, illus., plans.

“Monastic Wing,” Liturgical Arts, Vol. 24, May 1956, 60-61.

“La Montecassino del Minnesota,” Orizzonti, Vol. 7, 12 Febbraio 1961, 8-11.

“Notes and News,” Liturgy, No. 137, January 1964, p.18.

“Per una Abbazia Benedettina nel Minnesota,” Domus, No. 391, June 1962, 1-6, illus., plans.

“A Plan for a Church,” Catholic Digest, November 1954, 70-73.

“Planning of St. John’s Abbey,” Church Property Administration, Fall 1955, 44-47, illus.

Planning the Abbey Church,” Abbey Banner, Spring 2011, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 12-15. 

“Recent Church Architecture,” The Lamp, November 1962, 10-11; 22; 24; 28.

“St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minn.,” Church Property Administration, Vol. 19, January, February 1965, 44-7, 144-8, illus., plans.

“St. John’s Abbey, Minnesota, U.S.A.,” Sinkentiku, June 1954, 16-20.

“St. John’s Abbey – A Master Plan,” Arts and Architecture, Vol. 79, February 1962, 18-20, 28-9, illus.

“St. John’s Abbey Church, Collegeville, Minn.,” Bauen and Wohnen, Vol. 12, November 1958, 370-2, illus., plans.

“Sermon Delivered at St. John’s Abbey and University Centennial,” American Benedictine Review, Vol. 6, Winter 1955, 357-88.

Sittard, Herm.   “Church for the Twentieth Century,” The Catholic Market, Vol. 1, No. 1, October 1962, 20-5, illus.

“Six Churches Cited For Liturgical Excellence,” Catholic Property Administration, October 1962,  36-41, illus.

Smith, H. “Marcel Breuer: The Buildings at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minn.,” Design Quarterly, No. 53, 1961, 1-31.

“Some Impressions of Modern Church Architecture in America,” Protestant Church Buildings and Equipment, November 1962, p.32.

Tansey, A.  “To Praise the Living God: A Bold New Adventure in Architecture,” Christian Family, Vol. 54, November 1959, 20-23.

Thimmesh, Hilary, OSB.  Marcel Breuer and a Committee of Twelve Plan a Church: A Monastic Memoir. Collegeville: SJU Press, 2011.

To Praise the Living God, [Brochure, 16 p.] “This brochure was printed by the North Central Publishing company of St. Paul, Minnesota, as a contribution toward the building of the new church of St. John’s Abbey and University.”

“Tomorrow’s House of Worship: Modern Symbol of Reverence,” Universal Atlas Cement Company, advertisement, as appearing in Time Magazine, May 20, 1957.

Young, Victoria Marie. St. John’s Abbey Church, Collegeville, Minnesota (1953-1961): The Benedictines and Marcel Breuer search for the sacred, 2003.

Young, Victoria Marie. Saint Johns Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer And The Creation Of A Modern Sacred Space. University of Minnesota Press, 2014.


The Saint John’s University Record (student newspaper) Bibliography on Marcel Breuer  

“Abbot Announces Building Plan for Future: Designs for Proposed New Church Shown,” The Record, April 23, 1954: p. 1.

“Architects Tour Abbey Wing Here April 25,” The Record, May 3, 1957: p. 4.

Wagner, J.R. “Architecture Student Defends Breuer’s Concept,” The Record, January 23, 1968: p. 2.

“Breuer, Abbey Architect, has Bright Career,” The Record, April 23, 1954: p. 4.

“Book on Abbey Building Plans Written by W.S. Stoddard,” The Record, March 28, 1958: p. 1.

“Breuer Dormitory…Aquinas Hall to be Dedicated August 9,” The Record, July 24, 1959: p. 1.

Uldrich, John. “Breuer Interviewed During Visit,” The Record, November 27, 1959: p. 2.

Spilane, Mike. “Breuer is Man-On-The-Spot,” The Record, December 11, 1959: p. 2.

 “Breuer to Speak,” The Record, May 22, 1959: p. 4.

“Breuer Updates Plans,” The Record, March 6, 1964: p. 3.

Ryan, John. “Building Saint John’s,” The Record, April 3, 1967: p. 2.

Hunstock, Jon. “Campus Center Construction set. Breuer, Faculty, Students to Confer on New Building,” The Record, October 18, 1965: p. 1.

“Capacity Crowd Present For New Students’ First Ceremony,” The Record, August 25, 1961: p. 1.

 “The Case Against Marcel with Larry Haeg,” The Record, February 15, 1966: p. 2.

Cripe, Bruce.  “Centennial Convocation to Feature Marcel Breuer,” The Record, April 5, 1957: p. 4.

“Church Construction on Schedule; Façade Next,” The Record: Alumni Supplement, April 8, 1960: p. 1.

“Church Cornerstone to be Laid Next Week,” The Record, November 14, 1958: p. 1.

Wanger, J.R. “Cold Cement and Cruel Climate….Marcel Breuer Comes to Call,” The Record, November 15, 1967: p. 3.

Cripe, Bruce. “Construction Begins on St. Thomas Hall,” The Record, April 18, 1958: p. 1.

 “Construction of Church to Continue During Winter,” The Record: Alumni Supplement, November 13, 1959: p. 4.

“Contract Signed, Ground Broken,” The Record, May 21, 1954: p. 1.

Kilzer, Ralph. “Clerics Build Model of Proposed Church,” The Record, February 18, 1955: p. 1.

“Community Shapes Building Plan For Future: St. John’s Launches Hundred-Year Project,” The Record, June 25, 1954: p.1.

Farnan, Bill. “Dedication of Science Center Reaches Finale,” The Record, November 15, 1967: p. 1.

“Dining Discussion Continues, Committee Delays Construction,” The Record, May 9, 1967: p. 1.

“Dorm Feuding Simmers; Telephone Crisis Cured,” The Record, October 13, 1967: p. 1.

Kuelbs, Martin. “Dorm Near Finish; Church Banner Poured,” The Record, May 8, 1959: p. 4.

Siebenand, Bill. “Famed Architects Consulted on Building Plans: Neutra, Gropius, Breuer Visit Abbey to Survey Future Needs,” The Record, April 17, 1953: p.1.

 “Granite Drive Begins,” The Record: Alumni Supplement, April 8, 1960: p. 3.

“Ground Broken for Library Building,” The Record, June 29, 1964: p. 1.

Varhalla, Ralph. “HHH Highlights Library Dedication,” The Record, May 13, 1966: p. 1.

“How it Started,” The Record, April 23, 1954: p. 2.

Casey, Tim. “In Breuer’s Boiler,” The Record, March 12, 1968: p. 2.

Hanstock, Jon. “Library Dedication Set for May 7: 13 to Receive Honorary Degrees,” The Record, April 29, 1966: p. 1.

“Library Heads Building Projects. New Science Center to be Next Step of Four-year Plan,” The Record, February 28, 1964: p. 1.

“Marcel L. Breuer Selected to Prepare Future Building Plans,” The Record, May 22, 1953: p.1.

Virnig, Norm. “More Construction Underway as Church Progress Continues,” The Record, August 26, 1960: p. 2.

“New Church Called Boldly Modern Idea,” The Record, February 21, 1958: p. 1.

Twomey, Mark. “New Church, St. Thomas Hall Ahead of Schedule,” The Record, October 10, 1958: p. 4.

“New Churches Featured on TV,” The Record, May 5 1961: p. 1.

Fightlin, Marsh. “New Dormitory to be Built Next Spring,” The Record, September 27, 1957: p. 1.

Hunstock, Jon. “Varied Reactions…On The New Library,” The Record, February 15, 1966: p. 2.

Franck, James. “Saint John’s on Exhibition,” The Record, December 8, 1961: p. 4.

Amberg, Jerome. “Science Dedication Starts Next Month,” The Record, April 17, 1967: p. 1.

Varhalla, Ralph. “Science Hall Nears Halfway Mark,” The Record, February 15, 1966: p. 1.

“Science Hall Progress Awaits New Equipment,” The Record, April 29, 1966: p. 3.

Miloy, Pete. “SJU Begins New Science Hall: Father Abbot Breaks Ground for $2.4 Million Structure,” The Record, April 30, 1965: p. 1.

Super, Tom. “SJU Science Hall Plans Declared: Building to Accent New Library, Church,” The Record, September 18, 1964: p. 1.

Roche, Pat. “Spring Weather Speeds Building Project,” The Record, May 6, 1955: p. 2.

“To Praise the Living God,” The Record: Alumni Edition, April 18, 1958: p. 1.

Maher, Don. “Watab View to Enhance New Student Dorms,” The Record, September 30, 1966: p. 1.

“Who is Breuer,” The Record, February 21, 1958: p. 2.

“Wing Interior Nears Completion, Monks Plan August Move-In,” The Record, July 29, 1955: p. 1.

Krom, Ron. “Work to Begin on New Dorms,” The Record, May 13, 1966: p. 1.

“Work to Begin Soon on New Church Window,” The Record, February 13, 1959: p. 1.

Mueller, Bill. “Work on Church to Begin in May,” The Record, May 2, 1958: p. 1.

Frank, Robert. “Work on New Church Progressing,” The Record, November 4, 1960: p. 2.

“World Magazines Discuss Saint John’s Building Plan,” The Record, April 22, 1955: p. 2.