Filed Under Great Falls

St. Ann's Cathedral

Great Falls Northside Residential Historic District

Shortly after Pope Pius X established the Diocese of Great Falls in 1904, Great Falls’ first bishop, Matthias Lenihan, hired Montana architect John Hackett Kent to design a cathedral equal to those in Europe. Kent, who helped design the Montana state capitol, looked to thirteenth-century England for inspiration. St. Ann’s shares all the features of the Gothic Revival style: an “exaggerated verticality” that makes the building itself look as if it were reaching toward heaven, a cruciform plan, pointed arches, window tracery, and a ribbed interior vault. According to the Great Falls Tribune, its red and cream sandstone was quarried locally, with “each block … cut for a particular place in the structure and … marked [to] … designate it for that one particular place.” Bitterroot Valley sculptor W. R. Gifford carved the two-ton exterior figure of Christ, which graces the top of the gable end arch. Construction of the cathedral, which seats five hundred people, cost approximately $100,000. Money for the project came from the four hundred parishioners living in Great Falls in 1906. 

Images

St. Ann's Cathedral St. Ann's Cathedral (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R09 F27). Front to side view of the building, facing northeast on the corner of 3rd Avenue North and 7th Street North. Spire is featured in this photograph. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983
St. Ann's 1. St. Ann's 2. Great Falls, MT. 3/4 Kittredge 3/90 5. Helena, MT. 6. Facing east #9 Roll 2/25 (verso) b&w print Digitized image cropped for clarity Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Kittredge Date: March 1990
St. Ann's Cathedral St. Ann's Cathedral (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R09 F22). Rear to side view of the church building, facing northwest on 3rd Avenue North near the side entry. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983
St. Ann's Cathedral St. Ann's Cathedral (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R09 F23). Side to front view of the church building, facing northwest on 3rd Avenue North near the corner of 3rd Avenue North and 7th Street North. View of the church spire on the corner of the building. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983
St. Ann's Cathedral St. Ann's Cathedral (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R09 F24). Side to front view of the east entry of the church building, facing north on 3rd Avenue North. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983
St. Ann's Cathedral St. Ann's Cathedral (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R09 F25). Close view of the entry door to the cathedral building, facing east on 7th Street North. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983
St. Ann's Cathedral St. Ann's Cathedral (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R09 F26). Front to side view of the church building, facing northeast on the corner of 3rd Avenue North and 7th Street North. Spire is cut off in the photograph. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983

Location

715 3rd Avenue North, Great Falls, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “St. Ann's Cathedral,” Historic Montana, accessed December 3, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/202.