St. Mary’s Cathedral is the mother church of Roman Catholicism in the Pikes Peak Region. Pioneer priest Father
Joseph Machebeuf said the earliest public Mass in Colorado Springs in May 1873, when the city was 2 years old.
The congregation attended services in stores, meeting halls and several temporary chapels until 1888, when the
present property on Kiowa Street was purchased for $3,100. By 1891, the basement of the present structure was
completed. The superstructure was completed in 1898 and dedication ceremonies were held Dec. 19, 1898.
From 1902-04, a substantial interior remodeling project was conducted and the bell towers were added. Gothic
arched plaster ceilings, the six side aisle windows and electric lighting were added in 1907. During 1923-24 the
stained glass windows of the clerestory and the stained glass windows on the east and west walls of the apse
were added. In 1930, limestone facings were added to the three main entrances and adjacent windows and the
rose window over the choir loft was changed to its current configuration. The exterior of the church underwent a
major renovation in 1961, resulting in the main entrance steps and ramp. The interior was modernized in 1963,
with new lighting, decoration, pews and the construction of a new sacristy.
In January 1984, the Diocese of Colorado Springs was established and Richard C. Hanifen was installed as its
first bishop. This event ushered in another remodeling effort to turn a parish church into a diocesan cathedral.
By the late 1990s, the cathedral was in need of repair and remodeling. In 1998, the Nehemiah Team — a group
of volunteers and professionals from the parish and diocese — was formed to guide the project. Over the next
18 months, many planning and consultation meetings led to the development of a $7.5 million project which
provided total renewal of the worship space, a new entrance way on Kiowa Street, a gathering space, a plaza on
the east and north sides of the church,15 new meeting rooms and classrooms, new sacristies, hospitality rooms
and a catechumen room. Groundbreaking took place in May 2002, and construction was completed fall of 2003
under the leadership of current Bishop Michael J. Sheridan. The cathedral is recognized as a national historic
landmark. In 2009, a new rectory was built on the north side of the property.