This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 24, 2012 - As patrons enter the Loretto-Hilton Performing Arts Center for a performance, some may wonder about its name. Was Loretto the first name of theater donor Conrad Hilton’s wife? His daughter? A lady in black?
In fact, the 1966 thrust-stage theatre is a legacy of the Sisters of Loretto Standing at the Foot of the Cross. In the mid-'60s the Loretto sisters were indeed ladies in black — black habits and veils. However, some say a red dress is the reason the theater, a community resource today, was built.