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St. Mary's Cathedral

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St. Mary's Cathedral in Austin, Texas, illuminated by sunset reflections from the Thomas Rusk State Treasury Building.

The church's history dates back to 1851, when it was originally named Saint Patrick's Church. In 1866, the name was changed to St. Mary's of the Immaculate Conception, and the cathedral was dedicated in 1884. The church was built in the Victoria Gothic architectural style.

Saint Mary's is situated on the northwest extremity of a small hill overlooking the downtown area, one block south of the Texas State Capitol building. The church is sited on a lime stone bluff shaped into a street corner. Consequently, the land drops sharply along the west side, at the rear of the church, down to the street which is approximately twenty feet below the floor level of the church. The church faces 10th Street, which also slopes sharply down to the west in the block beyond the church. Because of the prominent site traditional orientation was waived, and the apse end is on the south instead of the usual east orientation.