Torre San Miguel

Torre San Miguel, the only remaining portion of the Irish-Catholic Church of St. Michael, is located on a slight rise of land at the far north end of the Torre San Miguel Homes on Wood St. Originally the bell tower for the 1882 church, it was left standing when the church and other related buildings were sold and demolished in 1970 for the construction of the new the affordable housing development. The date shows as raised numbers in stone on the brickwork just above the foundation.

The original brick has been painted a medium tan shade, with turquoise highlights on the arches above the former windows and on the belt course above the first window. In nearly mint condition, it is a community landmark and serves to bring together two histories of the West Side. Before the neighborhood saw a rise in the Hispanic population it was settled by Irish and German immigrants.

Few structures of any kind remain from those very early settlements as the people moved away, and buildings in the lowest part of the flood plain were demolished. When the new community began to celebrate its own heritage, the renaming of the tower (from “Saint Michael” to “Torre San Miguel”) honored that transformation.

That this structure remains standing and in excellent repair is almost remarkable.

Note: For a full-ziti view of the tower image click on the link below