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National Shrine of the Little Flower (Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Therese Catholic Church)
In 1923 the Catholic order of the Discalced Carmelites were invited to build a mission on this site. Assuming a cathedral-like scale, this commanding complex of church and monastery is the work of Oklahoma City architect Monnot. Constructed of steel and concrete and faced with Bedford limestone, the exterior of the shrine is Spanish Renaissance in character. The 116-foot-tall four-tiered tower to the left of the entrance is embellished with classical colonnades, while the seventy-two-foot-tall tower to its right is topped by a gilded bronze statue of French-born St. Therese, known as the “Little Flower.” The cross-vaulted interior is a more lavish creation, with stained glass windows from the Emil Frei workshop and wooden figures carved in Spain by Francisco Pablo. The construction of the church in the midst of the Great Depression must have been a source of community pride, with marble and mosaic tile work by San Antonio artist Louis Rodriguez, decorative ironwork by Voss Metal Works, and tile floors by the Aztec Art Tile Company.
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