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Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Memphis, Tennessee) facts for kids

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Cathedral of the
Immaculate Conception
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Memphis, Tennessee) is located in Tennessee
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Memphis, Tennessee)
Location in Tennessee
35°07′33″N 90°00′19″W / 35.12588°N 90.00515°W / 35.12588; -90.00515
Location 1695 Central Ave.
Memphis, Tennessee
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Founded 1921
Architect(s) Richard J. Regan
Style Spanish Colonial Revival
Completed 1938
Capacity 1,200
Length 173 feet (53 m)
Width 106 feet (32 m)
Number of domes Two
Materials Brick
Diocese Memphis
Bishop(s) Most Rev. David Talley
Rector Rev. Robert Szczechura
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Rectory, School, and Convent.
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
Built 1922 (rectory, convent, and school)
Part of Central Gardens Historic District (ID82004040)
Added to NRHP September 9, 1982

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a Catholic cathedral in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. It is the seat of the Diocese of Memphis. The parish buildings are contributing properties in the Central Gardens Historic District. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.


Immaculate Conception Parish

Immaculate Conception parish was established by Bishop Thomas Sebastian Byrne of the Diocese of Nashville in 1921. It was the ninth parish in Memphis. Msgr. Dennis J. Murphy was appointed as the parish's first pastor. He built a three-story brick building that served as a combination church and school. It continues to serve the parish today as its school building. The Sisters of Mercy made up the school's first faculty.

Construction of the present church building was begun in 1927. Richard J. Regan of Regan and Weller Architects was chosen to design the church. The lower crypt was initially built and used as the church for ten years before the upper church was built. The church was dedicated on July 31, 1938. The parish's second pastor, Msgr. Francis D. Grady, had the decorative design work completed on the church's interior. Msgr. Merlin F. Kearney had the high school buildings east of the church built in the 1950s and 1960s. Immaculate Conception High School for girls was also begun at this time.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Pope Paul VI established the Diocese of Memphis on January 6, 1971. Immaculate Conception was named as the new diocese's cathedral. A major renovation of the cathedral was completed in 2001 and was dedicated by Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD on December 8 of that year. In 2011 there were 800 families in the parish and 430 students in the school


The cathedral is a Spanish Colonial Revival style structure. It is cruciform in shape, and measures 173 by 106 feet (53 by 32 m). The steel structure is covered with buff brick trimmed with Indiana limestone. The main facade features three round arch entrance portals, a rose window, and a stone cross on the central pediment. Two towers flank the main facade. They are capped with copper covered domes surmounted with a cross that reach to a height of 115 feet (35 m). There are two other rose windows, one in each transept.

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