Alto Pass, Illinois, home of the famous Bald Knob Cross, is located between Interstate 24, 55, & 57 in Southern Illinois. The Bald Knob Cross is the most prominent elevation in Southern Illinois. Surrounded by the rugged scenic beauty of the Shawnee National Forest, Bald Knob rises more than 700 feet above the valley below.
From the Bald Knob Cross Informational brochure:
“The base of the Cross is 1,034 feet above sea level. The Cross stands 111 feet tall, is 22 feet square at the base, 16 feet square at the top, and its arms extend horizontally 63 feet.
A foundation fo 730 tons of reinforced concrete goes down 20 feet to bed rock. Steel framework weighs 170 tons, and the additional supports and covering are estimated to weigh another 30 tons. The Cross is engineered to withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour. The covering is made of Illinois Marble at base and heavy reinforced porcelain steel panels above.”
The Cross is showing signs of age, wear, and the ravenges of time and weather. It does, however, continue to serve as visible symbol of “Faith, Hope, and Charity” (words at the foot of the Cross).
“That it will help to strengthen the spiritual fiber of our people which, in the final analysis, has been, and must continue to be, the basis for our nation’s leadership for freedom and peace amoung the peoples of the world.”