Origins of this church date back to the 1850s when the Catholic community in Austin built St. Patrick's, a small stone structure on the corner of 9th and Brasoz streets. Renamed in 1866 for Saint Mary, the church decided to build a new building. In 1872 after Austin was named the permanent state capitol, the parish laid the cornerstone for the church, just one block from the original location.
Nicolas J. Clayton, later to become the foremost Victorian architect in all of Texas, at this time had never designed a church. The design and construction of this church marks the beginning of a career filled with designs for ecclesiastic structures, mostly centered in Galveston.
Evoking nature throughout the design, St. Mary's Cathedral beauty represents places in nature where one encounters the divine. From the tree inspired columns with foliage carved tops, to the leaves and vines in the muralswe are remiinded of the forest. The mountains are felt within the pointed arches on the doors and the high reaching spires. Overhead the blue painted dome dotted with stars, call to heaven.
Today, St. Mary's Cathedral, still in the heart of Downtown Austin is an active Parrish and continues to serve the community. For more information about tours, or worship service, please visit St. Mary's Cathedral official website.