The Basilica of Saint Mary is a stunning, sacred place designed in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray. But The Basilica is so much more than an important architectural landmark. It’s a center for the arts, a refuge for those in need and a beacon of hope for our metropolitan area. It’s a vibrant, diverse faith community of people from across the Twin Cities and beyond.
At The Basilica, three of our buildings, the Church, School and Rectory are recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. The Church and School are both more than 100 years old, and the Rectory will turn 100 in 2026. The previous convent, Cowley Center, (now meeting and office space) dates to the 1960s. The Basilica’s grounds also take considerable care with replacing trees, painting railings, fixing sidewalks and other important work to keep the campus walkable, inviting and safe.
Recently, our Facilities Assessment Committee volunteers did their annual walk through of all The Basilica’s buildings and grounds. These volunteers bring backgrounds in construction, architecture, landscaping and project management. They share their expertise with representatives from our architect HGA and our contractor Mortenson.
Together they assess critical needs, make plans and create budgets for the short and long term capital improvements on our Basilica campus. It may come as no surprise that our list of capital needs to care for these historic buildings far exceeds available funds.
We are asking for your financial support of The Basilica Landmark Annual Appeal to tackle critical capital maintenance projects to care for The Basilica’s buildings and grounds.
In the Church, we would like to embark on a plaster, stone, and stained-glass assessment this fall. This work will help us understand the causes of the crumbling plaster, identify needed repairs, and the processes needed to restore The Basilica’s decorative plaster ceilings. Restorers will also identify how best to clean The Basilica’s interior stone without damage. Through all this work, they will determine the processes, funding and timing for a long-awaited future restoration.
Water incursion in our historic structures is a major culprit and the root cause for ongoing interior damage. This fall, we already have plans that need funding to remove old insulation that is holding damaging moisture between the exterior and interior Church walls, and to repair faulty drains on the Church roof. Leaking roofs on the east and west ends of The Basilica School have come to the end of their expected usefulness and must be replaced. Work is scheduled to begin soon to make repairs and restore The Basilica’s bell towers. And the list of critically needed capital projects goes on.
Please make your financial commitment to support The Basilica Landmark today. Your gifts will help us care for these structures so important to our faith community and to our city.
Organized in 1993, The Landmark is a 501(c)3 separate from the parish. The Basilica Landmark’s mission is to preserve, restore and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations.
Give today at thebasilicalandmark.org/give.
Managing Director of Mission Advancement
The Basilica of Saint Mary
Executive Director of
The Basilica Landmark