St. Patrick Church/ Co-Cathedral/ Cathedral – Throckmorton

The oldest continuously used church building in Fort Worth, St. Patrick Church was erected beginning in 1888 according to plans prepared by architect James J. Kane. Kane practiced in Fort Worth from 1876 until his death in 1901. His other projects include St. Ignatius Academy, a Tarrant County jail, and circa 1882 renovations to the 1876 Tarrant County Courthouse (the last two structures have both been demolished). Father Jean M. Guyot, a native of France, came to Fort Worth to pastor St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, St. Patrick’s predecessor, in 1884. Plans for the new church building were initiated shortly thereafter, and work began in mid-summer of 1888 under Father Guyot’s supervision. The cornerstone was laid on October 14, 1888, but the building was not completed until 1892. A magnificent Gothic Revival structure, the church has a gabled nave. A rose window set within a lancet above the main windows in the building from the 1890s. The side windows are Munich-style stained glass dating from the 1890s to the 1940s. Only minor modifications were made to the church during the first fifty years. Monsignor Joseph Grundy O’Donohoe, who assumed the pastorate in 1940, embarked in 1946-47 upon a major renovation of St. Patrick’s interior. The church was completely replastered and repainted, ceiling beams and window frames were walnut grained, the main altar was modified, and both the side altars and the communion rail were replaced. Baroque air than the nineteenth century interior had. H.I. Moreland was the general contractor for much of this work. In 1953, St. Patrick’s became St. Patrick Co-Cathedral, sharing the seat of the diocese with Dallas. Monsignor Vincent J. Wolf became St. Patrick’s pastor in 1956 following Father O’Donohoe’s death. After purchasing the adjacent St. Ignatius Academy building from the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, Monsignor Wolf established the St. Patrick’s Restoration and Prestige Fund which, over the next four years, funded work on the Cathedral complex. Changes included installing air conditioning and new lighting in the church as well as painting the exterior of both the church and the rectory. George Gutjahr was the contractor for the renovation project. It was also during this period that the architectural and historical significance of the building was recognized. St. Patrick was designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1962, one of the first five buildings in Fort Worth to acquire the designation. In 1969 St. Patrick was renamed St. Patrick Cathedral and became the seat of the new Fort Worth diocese. The St. Patrick Cathedral complex (including St. Ignatius Academy and Rectory) was listed on the National Register in 1985. That same year further modifications to the church were made when the sacristy was enlarged and handicapped access provided on the south side of the building. James Patrick was the architect for this project. The Cathedral complex still houses an active congregation, and its landmark structure provides a visual anchor to the southern end of the Fort Worth’s Central Business District.

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