Even the Basilica had Humble Beginnings

You didn't think it did, did you? Did you?

Nah, me neither. But Hugh McNichol's Catholic Sacred Arts reveals that the Basilica did indeed come from humble origins. Well, as humble as it is able to get.

To wit:

Pretty nice, but this piece is striking because it shows just exactly how far the building has come since then. Most noticeable is the smaller sanctuary and unassuming altar--in later years the rear wall was extended backward and turned into a massive curved apse, the altar renovated and augmented with a massive baldachin, and the entire sanctuary lengthened to create the dramatic, borderline over-the-top effect we see today.

Image courtesy dr. jibba / flickr

The Project has clear opinions on the building and its management, but transformations are cool to witness nonetheless. Not to mention seeing the church in a simpler time, before it became a punchline.