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Annunciation Catholic Church

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1871; 1884–1895, N. J. Clayton. 1618 Texas Ave.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

Annunciation, the oldest Catholic parish in Houston, is a comprehensive reconstruction of a twelve-year-old building that began to disintegrate in 1883. In a campaign of improvements that lasted more than ten years, Galveston architect N. J. Clayton thickened the nave walls, shored the sagging west front facing Crawford Street with a slender 175-foot-high central tower (the tallest structure in Houston when topped out in 1889), and completely redesigned the interior, which culminates in an apsidal chancel added to the east end of the church in 1895. Clayton's interior, with the nave arcades carried on Romanesque capped columns, possesses the spatial buoyancy that is a distinctive feature of his architecture. Next door to Annunciation is Houston's oldest educational institution, Incarnate Word Academy, established on this site in 1874. Clayton is responsible for its oldest existing building, the three-story, red brick classroom building of 1906 at 1611 Capitol Avenue.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Annunciation Catholic Church", [Houston, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 335-335.

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