St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, also known locally as Saint Mary's Cathedral, is the principal church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. It is the mother church of the Catholic faithful in the California counties of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo and is the metropolitan cathedral for the Ecclesiastical province of San Francisco. The rector of the cathedral is Msgr. John Talesfore.
The cathedral is located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The present cathedral replaced one (1891-1962) of the same name. The original Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1853-1854 and still stands today. It is now known as Old Saint Mary's Church.
In 1883, Archbishop Patrick W. Riordan purchased the northwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and O'Farrell Street in Western Addition. Riordan broke ground in December 1885. On May 1, 1887 the archbishop placed the cornerstone. Archbishop Riordan dedicated the edifice to Saint Mary of the Assumption on January 11, 1891. The second cathedral served the Archdiocese of San Francisco for seventy-one years. During the episcopal terms of archbishops Riordan, Edward J. Hanna and John J. Mitty. Papal Secretary of State Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, (future Pope Pius XII) said Mass at the high altar in October 1936. On April 3, 1962, Joseph T. McGucken was installed as the fifth Archbishop of San Francisco in the cathedral on Van Ness Avenue. Five months later the landmark was destroyed by arson on the night of September 7, 1962.
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St. Mary's Cathedral Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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4.4
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  • interesting exterior, and often not what you expect from a cathedral, but step inside. The interior is built such that it forms a cross and beautiful views  more »
  • It's worth seeing. It turns out that not only a church, a church or a cathedral built a few centuries ago can be beautiful. But also modern. This is an amazing cathedral combining a modern vision and at the same time a uniquely religious structure. It's great both on the outside and inside. Very unusual, but at the same time mesmerizingly beautiful
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  • Interesting place to visit. The architecture and mini chapels around the perimeter were interesting. The concrete architecture and massive supports did create a intriguing center ceiling to look up into but also conved a distant feel to the space.
  • Well worth it. The filtering and use of light is amazing. Too bad we saw this Monday that they have Sunday organ concerts. Apparently the acoustics are amazing. Next time ...
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