Cathedral of Saint Mary (Austin, Texas)
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|Saint Mary Cathedral|
|Location||203 E. 10th St.
|Denomination||Roman Catholic Church|
|Consecrated||20 April 1884|
|Architect(s)||Nicholas J. Clayton|
|Diocese||Diocese of Austin|
|Bishop(s)||Most Rev. Joe S. Vasquez|
|Rector||Rev. Albert Laforet|
St. Mary's Cathedral
|NRHP Reference #||73001981|
|Added to NRHP||2 April 1973|
Saint Mary's Cathedral is the cathedral parish of the Catholic Diocese of Austin located in Austin, Texas, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, as St. Mary's Cathedral.
The origins of this church date back to the 1850s when the Catholic community in Austin (then the new state's temporary capital with a population of around 600) built a small stone church named St. Patrick on the corner of 9th and Brazos Streets. In 1866, the church was renamed Saint Mary, and the parish decided they needed a new church and could afford masonry construction. In 1872, after Austin was made the permanent capital of the state, the parish laid the cornerstone for a new church choosing a location one block north of the original building.
The parish had laid out a basilica-shaped foundation and begun raising the walls, which were 5 feet (1.5 m) high when the architect Nicholas J. Clayton began to design their new church. Eventually to become the foremost Victorian architect in Texas, Clayton had never designed a church, and Saint Mary's was his first independent commission. Born in Ireland in 1840, Clayton learned masonry and building design in Cincinnati, and came to Galveston in 1872 on behalf of his Ohio firm. At the time, Austin was part of the Archdiocese of Galveston, and it may have been through the Holy Cross fathers that the bishop connected Nicholas Clayton with the first Catholic parish in Austin. This church began Clayton's long, prolific career centered in Galveston, building primarily ecclesiastical structures but also commercial buildings and homes.
Originally, this parish belonged to the diocese of Galveston. When the new Diocese of Austin was formed in 1948, this became the cathedral of the newly formed diocese. At that time, the church was remodeled, many of its neo-Gothic decorations were removed, the neo-Gothic altars and altar rail were replaced with 20th-century marble and the baldachino with its cactus and bluebonnets, evocative of central Texas.
The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 2, 1973.
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