In a little over a month, St Patrick's Catholic Church will be celebrating its 182 year anniversary as a a parish. Though the building dates back to 1840, it is still an integral part of New Orleans' American Sector, now known as the CBD. The church was meant to rival the Americans' Creole counterparts, according to Go New Orleans. Likewise, Lafayette Square and Gallier Hall were both reactionary projects that have somehow stood the test of time. Designed by Charles and James Dakin and overseen by James Gallier, the Gothic church's tower stands at 185 feet tall. It is Gallier who helped make the church structurally sound in the face of a rather precarious water table that may have sent the church crumbling to the ground otherwise.
The church was damaged in 1965 by Hurricane Betsy and subsequently repaired but it is the major renovation to honor its 150th anniversary that truly stands out. Taking well over a decade, the church's interior was meticulously restored with a bit of color added to its ribs while also restoring frescoes that date back to the church's founding years. Walls were repainted and stained glass was highlighted with new lighting. The project was completed in the early 1990s and its continued upkeep earned it an outstanding maintenance award from the Historic District Landmarks Commission in 2002.
Photos of the church's 1990 renovation as well as the stations of the cross and images of the Tilma of Tepeyac Relic Tour that took place in 2003 are available via the church's website at oldstpatricks.org.
· St Patrick's Catholic Church Website
· Canal Street, The Border Between the Ceoles and the Americans [Go New Orleans]