Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

122-0024 St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/21/1978

NRHP Listing Date 05/25/1979

NPS property number 79003287

Dominated by its richly decorated spire, this gleaming stuccoed church is the state’s most elaborate expression of the Early Gothic Revival. Erected in 1858-59, it replaced an earlier church destroyed by fire, and serves the Tidewater region’s founding Catholic parish. Although the architect remains to be discovered, the design is clearly from the hand of an individual of superior talent, possibly a Baltimore architect. With its rounded apse, the church has a decidedly French character. No less rich than the exterior is the lofty vaulted interior which contains a profusion of Victorian stained glass and ornamentation. Noteworthy also is its 1858 pipe organ by Richard M. Ferris and Levi U. Stuart of New York. St. Mary’s serves a predominately African American congregation; it became a Minor Basilica in 1991.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated February 8, 2019