St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco

4.2
#19 of 35 in Historic Sites in San Francisco
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, also known locally as Saint Mary's Cathedral, is the principal church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. It is the mother church of the Catholic faithful in the California counties of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo and is the metropolitan cathedral for the Ecclesiastical province of San Francisco. The rector of the cathedral is Msgr. John Talesfore.The cathedral is located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The present cathedral replaced one (1891-1962) of the same name. The original Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1853-1854 and still stands today. It is now known as Old Saint Mary's Church.Second cathedralIn 1883, Archbishop Patrick W. Riordan purchased the northwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and O'Farrell Street in Western Addition. Riordan broke ground in December 1885. On May 1, 1887 the archbishop placed the cornerstone. Archbishop Riordan dedicated the edifice to Saint Mary of the Assumption on January 11, 1891. The second cathedral served the Archdiocese of San Francisco for seventy-one years. During the episcopal terms of archbishops Riordan, Edward J. Hanna and John J. Mitty. Papal Secretary of State Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, (future Pope Pius XII) said Mass at the high altar in October 1936. On April 3, 1962, Joseph T. McGucken was installed as the fifth Archbishop of San Francisco in the cathedral on Van Ness Avenue, five months later the landmark was destroyed by arson on the night of September 7, 1962.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
107 reviews
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3.9
TripAdvisor
  • July 17, 2017
    St Mary's Cathedral is the main church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. The Cathedral is distinguished by an extraordinary design. Its roof consists of eight segments of hyperbolic paraboloids. Bottom horizontal cross-section of the roof is a square, and the upper cross-section is the cross.
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  • July 12, 2017
    One of the most grandiose modern churches we have seen (while not as intriguing or culturally meaningful as a sagrada familia, it has an amazing size and position) the spacious environment, organ and ...  more »
  • July 12, 2017
    I wouldn't recommend going in there, but it is awesome standing outside looking at an only in San Francisco place.  more »
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  • April 13, 2017
    Stunning and architecturally overwhelming. A moderninst masterpiece that is breathtaking to partake of. Sitting inside you can gaze at the high ceilings with stained glass in them as skylights. The poured concrete vibe may not be for everyone, but the lack of interior columns create a huge openness and good acoustics for chorales and singing. Open daily for visits from the general public.
  • April 16, 2017
    On Easter Sunday we went to the church to see a concert that was supposed to start at 4pm (we arrived at 3:15pm). We were greeted by rude church employees did not let us enter the church (or even stand near the doors) due to a VIP baptism. Church personnel made a large group of us wait outside in the cold rain (not even giving us a corner inside the church to wait were its at least dry). After almost an hour waiting outside, we decided to give up and go elsewhere. We never expected such horrible treatment from a church of this magnitude. Don't come to this church! Personnel is extremely rude and apparently they care more about closing the church for big spenders than spreading the word of God on Easter day to the masses. Also, VIP events should be scheduled so it does not conflict with church schedule. Read the other comments! This seems to be a recurring issue!
  • June 29, 2017
    Second time I have been here for an event and the church is nice although I haven't been to any services here yet.
  • March 14, 2017
    Spreading water on the homeless! Are you kidding me? That water could be used for something cool, like soup. Bad church, makes me very ill. Chili dogs were good though so they get a star.
  • April 28, 2017
    I went here several times requesting for holy water and was greeted by the same lady whose the gate keeper of God's water. She returned with a small container. When I asked for more, she insisted that this is all that is offered. There is a suggested donation of $5 each time for this request. Is this me or is it a bit much to pay for God's water? This whole experience has been distasteful.

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