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St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Church
TitleSt. Mary's Church
DescriptionPostcard of St. Mary's Church at Thirteenth and Holmes Streets
Historical ArticleSt. Mary's church, the mother parish of the Episcopal church in Kansas City, still stands at Thirteenth and Holmes streets, an impressive downtown landmark. It has survived a complete change of neighborhood, a threatened building condemnation and construction of the Cross-town freeway, which cuts through part of the old church grounds.

The parish was organized in 1857 as St. Luke's church and held services at several locations on the North Side before the present red brick building was erected in 1888. Daily mass has been held in the small chapel of the Holy Angels since that time.

The tall windows on the west side of the building are painted glass, and the colors still bright and clear after 85 years.

The high, arched interior has aisles on each side with narrow galleries above. Cathedral chairs are used rather than pews and the black iron egg-shaped gas fixtures remain in place. The Horse Flesh or yellow pine floors are the originals.

Tiffany of New York imported the Italian marble for the high altar, which depicts the Virgin and Child surrounded by the eight great women saints of the early church. The colorful figures in the marble were created by a secret process of injecting pigmented dyes into the marble under pressure, making the design penetrate through to the back of the piece. The Italian workman who produced the work died without describing his method and only one other such altar exists in America.

The Latin inscription below the altar reads: In memory of Reverend Henry David Jardine, Rector, 1879-1886 whose faithful people built this church.

A reed organ, said to be the first in Kansas City and brought from New York by rail to Cincinnati, by flat boat to St. Louis and by wagon train to Kansas City, is in place but unused.

Today's parish records show a membership of 375. A gift shop in the south wing helps support the church. The Rev. Phillip Toll Brinkman is the rector.

Kansas City Times
December 26, 1970

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectSaint Mary's Episcopal Church
Episcopal Churches
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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