You are here

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

-A A +A
1859, Father Pierre Yves Kéralum. 1218 E. Jefferson St.
  • (The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

No attempt was made here, as there was with Market Square, to alter the city grid and create a ceremonial space for the new church. It was constructed over a three-year period in Gothic Revival that was sophisticated, not only for Brownsville but also for Texas. Kéralum, an architect-cabinetmaker from Brittany who had joined the Oblate Order, was called to Brownsville after designing the church in Roma ( SM8). He configured the building into a Latin cross plan with an eighty-eight-foot-tall tower containing the bells of a steamboat. Originally stuccoed and scored to emulate stone, its buttressed exterior brick walls are topped by a parapet of continuous wheel patterns with open work. In the grounds, the marble, altar-like Celaya family vault contains the remains of Brownsville's most prominent Spanish immigrant family. The interior includes original wooden pews, stained glass windows, and a rib-vaulted ceiling covered with blue plaster from which hang original chandeliers.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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.