You are here

St. Patrick's Catholic Church

-A A +A
1929, Ralph Fishbourne. 3319 Waialae Ave.

With its imposing bell tower, crowned by an octagonal copper lantern, St. Patrick's Catholic Church presides over a two-city-block complex of church-related structures, including Sacred Hearts Academy. The academy's buildings include the cupola-embellished, reinforced-concrete school building designed by H. L. Kerr in 1909, and St. Margaret Mary's Chapel designed in 1920 by Edgar Allen Poe Newcomb. St. Patrick's, like most of the other buildings, is in Spanish Mission Revival with red tile roofs, stuccoed reinforced-concrete walls, round-arched openings, and a blind arcade accentuating the eave line. The flat exterior walls are relieved by such projecting elements as the single-story entrance porch, bell tower, and diminutive corner chapel. Further definition is provided by the front Palladian window with its twisted columns and corbeled arches. The stained glass windows were made in Belgium, as were those in St. Margaret Mary's Chapel, which include Hawaiian floral motifs. As indicated by the dedicatory names in the windows, St. Patrick's congregation was primarily of Portuguese descent.

St. Patrick's is perhaps the best-known building designed by Honolulu architect Ralph Fishbourne (1884–1936). Born in Vallejo, California, he graduated from the Wilmerding School of Industrial Arts in San Francisco in 1903. After working for two years in New York City with Warren and Wetmore and for Schikel and Ditmars, he studied architecture in Paris from 1910 to 1912. Fishbourne arrived in Honolulu in 1917, and in 1921 became a partner in Ripley, Davis and Fishbourne. In 1926, Fishbourne opened his own office, which he operated until his death. He worked on several buildings in a Spanish character, including McKinley High School (OA94) and May's Shopping Center (OA96). One of his last projects was the Hawaiian-style Ewa Plantation Hospital (demolished) with its mix of Asian and western elements.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "St. Patrick's Catholic Church", [Honolulu, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 170-170.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.