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Cathedral of St. Mary (Fargo, North Dakota) facts for kids

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Cathedral of St. Mary
Fargo St Mary Cathedral IMG 0657.JPG
Cathedral of St. Mary (Fargo, North Dakota) is located in North Dakota
Cathedral of St. Mary (Fargo, North Dakota)
Location in North Dakota
46°52′57″N 96°47′19″W / 46.8824°N 96.7887°W / 46.8824; -96.7887
Location 604 Broadway
Fargo, North Dakota
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Status Cathedral/Parish
Founded 1880
Dedication Blessed Virgin Mary
Dedicated May 30, 1899
Architect(s) Edward P. Bassford
Style Romanesque Revival
Completed 1899
Number of spires Two
Spire height 172 feet (52 m)
Materials Brick
Diocese Fargo

The Cathedral of St. Mary is a Catholic cathedral located in Fargo, North Dakota, United States. It is a parish church and the seat of the Diocese of Fargo.


St. Mary's parish was founded in 1880. What would become the Diocese of Fargo was established nine years later as the Diocese of Jamestown, and at the time it encompassed the entire state of North Dakota. St. James Church in Jamestown became the cathedral. The diocese's first bishop, John Shanley, moved his residence to the Island Park area of Fargo in 1891. The Holy See changed the name of the diocese to Fargo in 1897.

Bishop Shanley purchased property for a new cathedral and had plans drawn up. The basement was completed when a fire destroyed most of downtown Fargo in 1893. Shanley donated a large portion of the funds that he had personally raised for the new cathedral to reconstruct the city after the fire. Construction on the cathedral was, therefore, delayed. St. Mary's Cathedral was completed and it was dedicated on May 30, 1899.


St. Paul, Minnesota architect Edward P. Bassford designed the present church building in the Romanesque Revival style. The brick structure follows a basilica plan with a rounded apse. Its six bays are divided by buttresses. The main facade features two uneven towers. The larger of the two towers rises 172 feet (52 m) above the ground, and it contains a single bell. A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located in the smaller tower. Statues of St. Peter and St. Paul flank the large round arch window on the facade. The interior is divided into three naves. The barrel vaulted ceiling has a cross vault at the transept.

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