Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center / Knights of Columbus Museum

1 State Street • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

Historical Significance

The Knights of Columbus Museum has been renamed the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center which commemorates Fr. McGivney's extraordinary life. Docent-led group tours are available at no cost but donations are accepted. The building still houses the Knights of Columbus Museum and special exhibitions are still mounted during the year.

Photo: View northeast showing fa├žade and staircase (George Waldron)

The McGivney Center was created in response to Pope Francis' approval of a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father McGivney and opening the way for his beatification. In 2020 an Apostolic Letter from Pope Francis declared Father McGivney would now have the title of Blessed Michael McGivney. He is the third priest born in the United States to be raised to this honor, and the first priest to be beatified who spent his whole priestly ministry in a US parish.

This building was originally designed to house the City Of New Haven's Community Services Department. It was purchased by the Knights of Columbus in 1982. The Knights of Columbus Museum, Inc. is a nonprofit institution serving the educational interests of the general public through periodic exhibitions of artwork and related content. It also serves as an archive, repository, and gallery for documents and artifacts pertaining to the Catholic fraternal organization's foundation, history and activities.

Photo: View southeast showing statue of Christopher Columbus in fountain in interior courtyard. (George Waldron)

The Knights of Columbus were founded in New Haven and their headquarters building is nearby. The Museum features world-class exhibitions of artwork and history, particularly those representing the heritage of Catholicism. It also maintains a permanent gallery of the Knights of Columbus' annals, as well as one dedicated to its founder, son of Irish immigrants, Father Michael J. McGivney (1852-1890). Its permanent collections of Christopher Columbus and papal memorabilia are also on regular exhibition.

Sources

"About Us." Knights of Columbus Museum.
[ view source ]

Maynard, Preston. "Community Services Building." Historic Resource Inventory Form. 1981.

Notable Features of Building or Site

This is a trapezoidal building with an open center courtyard. A glass wall spans the first story with a wide band of concrete at the second story to provide a strong horizontal character to the facade. The horizontal lines are anchored by round tower and a sweeping staircase at the north end of the facade and a a narrow vertical element near the south end of the facade. Another smaller horizontal concrete element extends from the round tower above the second story.

Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings

The building sits at the junction of State and George Streets on the southwestern edge of downtown New Haven. It is surrounded by parking lots to the west and north; railroad tracks to the east and an elevated divided highway to the south.


Additional Information

Common Name:  Knights of Columbus Museum
Date(s):  Built 1965
Style(s):  Brutalist
Historic Use:  offices
Present Use:  museum
Architect:  Douglas Orr, deCossy, Winder & Assoc.
Builder:  W. J. Megin, Inc.


Accessibility:
Exterior visible from public road.
Interior accessible (during business hours).


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