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Cathedral of St. Andrew (Little Rock, Arkansas) facts for kids

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Saint Andrew's Catholic Cathedral
Saint Andrews Catholic Cathedral, Little Rock, AR.JPG
Cathedral of St. Andrew (Little Rock, Arkansas) is located in Arkansas
Cathedral of St. Andrew (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Location in Arkansas
Cathedral of St. Andrew (Little Rock, Arkansas) is located in the United States
Cathedral of St. Andrew (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Location in the United States
Location 617 Louisiana St.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Area less than one acre
Built 1881
Architect Thomas Harding
Architectural style Gothic Revival
NRHP reference No. 86003117
Added to NRHP November 13, 1986

The Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States, is a historic church and the oldest place of continuing worship in the city. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock. The property is located at the corner of South Louisiana Street and West 7th Street in downtown Little Rock.


The Rev. Peter Donnelly from the Diocese of St. Louis celebrated the first Mass in Little Rock in a room over Dugan's Store at 2nd and Main Streets in 1830. As the congregation grew they acquired a building for their use on East Markham near Third Street. The Rev. Joseph Richard Bole and Father Paris were sent to Little Rock to build a permanent church building in 1839 on the property where the Arcade Building was located on Louisiana between Sixth and Seventh Streets. Known as the Old French Church, it was dedicated by Bishop Mathias Loras of the Diocese of Dubuque, Iowa in 1841. The Diocese of Little Rock was established by Pope Gregory XVI on November 28, 1843 with the Most Rev. Andrew Byrne as the first bishop.

Bishop Byrne established the first St. Andrew's Cathedral at Second and Center Streets in 1845. As the congregation grew a new cathedral was needed. The cornerstone for the present cathedral was laid by Bishop Edward Fitzgerald on July 7, 1878. The church was dedicated on November 27, 1881. It was designed by Little Rock architect Thomas Harding and cost $470,000 to build. The tallest tower on the façade of the building was completed in 1887.

A tornado struck downtown Little Rock in 1950 and toppled the cross on top of the tower. It also destroyed two of the stained glass windows. The present rectory was built in 1966. St. Andrew's Cathedral was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.


The Cathedral of St. Andrew is a Gothic Revival style structure that was built of native granite. The church measures 140 feet (43 m) in length and its nave is 86 feet (26 m) wide. The façade features two towers, the tallest of which is crowned with a spire and rises 86 feet (26 m) above the ground. The interior is finished in Southern yellow pine and features a marble high altar that is decorated with onyx and other precious stones.

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