St. Mary's Cathedral, 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.
In 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.
Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to St. Mary's Cathedral by using our San Francisco planner.
Source
Create an itinerary including St. Mary's Cathedral
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
St. Mary's Cathedral Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
141 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We returned to St. Mary's Cathedral. Its a place of worship. Both outside and inside, its an architectural wonder. Its very modern and beautiful to visit even if not attending services there.  more »
  • St Mary's Cathedral will take your breath away - it is a daring departure from the traditional Catholic church. First, it is huge - it seats 2400 people. It was dedicated in 1971. Yea, Vatican...  more »
Google
  • Interesting place to visit. The architecture and mini chapels around the perimeter were interesting. The concrete architecture and massive supports did create a intriguing center ceiling to look up into but also conved a distant feel to the space.
  • Well worth it. The filtering and use of light is amazing. Too bad we saw this Monday that they have Sunday organ concerts. Apparently the acoustics are amazing. Next time ...

Plan your trip to San Francisco

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in San Francisco

See all ›
4.8
Duration:2 h 30 min
4.7
Duration:2 h 30 min
3.4
Duration:2 h
3.0
Duration:3 h

Hidden gems in San Francisco

4.6
Duration:3 h 30 min
4.8
Duration:8 h
4.6
Duration:2 h
4.2
Duration:2 h

Parks in San Francisco

4.1
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.6
Duration:2 h
4.3
Duration:2 h
5.0
Duration:2 h

Shopping in San Francisco

See all ›
4.5
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.6
Duration:1 h
3.4
Duration:2 h
4.8
Duration:2 h

Historic Sites in San Francisco

See all ›
4.6
Duration:1 h
4.6
Duration:2 h
4.7
Duration:30 min
5.0
Duration:2 h

Nearby attractions in San Francisco

4.7
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.7
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.9
Duration:4 h
5.0
Duration:8 h
4.7
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.6
Duration:4 h
4.8
Duration:8 h