Bellevue Landmark

Historical Marker #1506 in Bellevue details the history of Sacred Heart Church, which was constructed only four years after Bellevue was incorporated in 1870.

The town of Bellevue totaled less than four hundred residents in the early 1870s, yet it was a time of rapid expansion. Several religious congregations were founded during this period, including Sacred Heart Church, which was built in 1874 and dedicated by Bishop Augustus Toebbe. The congregation used the local firehouse as a makeshift church until the building was completed.

Construction on a new church building began in 1892 and was finished the following year. The old church was first used as a school and then convent. Upon its completion, the new structure stood as one of the grandest churches in the area. Named "Herz Jesu Kirche," it not only embodied the German heritage of its followers by title, but also by its architecture and art. Sacred Heart Church was designed by architect Louis Picket with murals created by local German artists Leon Lippert and Theodore Brasch. Lippert was also famous for his art at St. Joseph Church in Campus Springs and the Corpus Christi Church in Newport.

The church had one of the tallest steeples in northern Kentucky until it was destroyed by wind in 1915. The edifice was renovated in 1924, and the old altar was replaced with a new handcrafted piece. The church stands today as a reminder of Bellevue's rich German Catholic heritage.