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St. Mary's Church-Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church facts for kids

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Old St. Mary's Church
T-St. Marys Church-Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.JPG
Old St. Mary's Church built in 1903, adjacent to the All Saints Catholic Newman Center (left)
Location College and University Ave., Tempe, Arizona
Area 0.5 acres (0.20 ha)
Built 1903
Architect Westhoff, Father Severin
Architectural style Romanesque
NRHP reference No. 78000552
Added to NRHP January 30, 1978

Old St. Mary's Church – formerly Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church – is an historic church at the corner of College Avenue and University Drive in Tempe, Arizona. Built in 1903, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and bears the distinction of being the longest standing church in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The building served as a Catholic parish for the Tempe area until 1968, when it became home to the Arizona State University Newman Center. Old St. Mary's currently serves as home to Mary College at ASU, a center for Catholic Studies formed in partnership between the University of Mary and Arizona State University, the Diocese of Phoenix, and the All Saints Catholic Newman Center. The Newman Center's offices and chapel stand adjacent to the historic church.

The structure, an example of Territorial Victorian Romanesque Revival architecture, was constructed with bricks fired nearby with clay from Fort McDowell and is adorned with twelve stained glass windows. The bell tower, rising above the double-door entrance, houses a bell constructed in St. Louis in 1903 specially for the church. A 2019-2020 renovation of the interior undertaken by Mary College at ASU, in conjunction with the All Saints Catholic Newman Center, added a new paint scheme and a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe emblazoned with her words to St. Juan Diego, “¿No estoy yo aquí, yo que tengo el honor de ser tu Madre?” (Am I not here, I who have the honor of being your mother?)

As home to Mary College at ASU, the historic church is now utilized as a study library, transformable into a lecture hall and event space. The lower level consists of classrooms, offices, and student computer lab.

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