Buildings in the National Register of Historic Places

Holy Family Cathedral, Rectory & School

122 West 8th Street  (map it)

Built: 1912-19

Holy Family Cathedral, Rectory & School

Holy Family Cathedral, Rectory, and School are historically, as well as architecturally significant. Ground was broken for the Gothic Revival style cathedral in May, 1912. It was completed in April, 1914. In June of 1919, the rectory was begun, and in July of 1919, the school building was started. Holy Family Cathedral (originally Holy Family Church) was the first church of its size to be built in Oklahoma. The church was the tallest building in Tulsa until the construction of the Mayo Hotel in 1923. The church’s construction corresponded to the period of rapid growth and development of Tulsa following the discovery of oil in surrounding areas. The early congregation included oil men such as Harry F. Sinclair and Joseph L. LaFortune. Monsignor John Heiring, third pastor of Holy Family, was instrumental in establishing Tulsa’s Saint John Hospital. During the devastating Race Riot of 1921, the church’s basement was used as a shelter for approximately two hundred women and children. The church was named co-cathedral of the Diocese of Tulsa and Oklahoma City in 1931, and became a See Church when the Diocese of Tulsa was established in 1972.

Money for construction of Saint Theresa’s Institute (the predecessor to Holy Family School) came in 1899 from Mother M. Katherine Drexel, heiress to the Drexel banking fortune of Philadelphia. Her contribution was designated for the erection of a school in Tulsa, Indian Territory, to benefit Indian and African-Americans of the Oklahoma and Indian Territories. The school began admitting children of all races in 1909, ten years before it became the Holy Family School. Holy Family Cathedral and School have had a profound effect upon the growth and development of Tulsa and Oklahoma.

These buildings at Holy Family were listed in the National Register on February 11, 1982. They were listed under National Register Criteria C, and A, and their NRIS number is 82003704.


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