When Baltimore’s great fire raged towards Thomas O’Neill’s dry goods store at Charles and Lexington Streets in 1904, he rushed to a nearby Carmelite convent to pray for the safety of the building. O’Neill’s prayers came true when the wind shifted and spared his building from the flames. In thanks, he donated two-thirds of his wealth when he died in 1919 to build a new cathedral in Baltimore. The Cathedral of Mary our Queen is his lasting legacy.
Although it took until 1954 to start construction and to 1959 to complete, the end product is both massive and magnificent. The third largest cathedral in the U.S., the steeple of Mary our Queen stands 163 feet tall and the building can seat up to 1,900 people. It has not one but two Moeller organs. On top of sheer size, the cathedral is an architectural wonder. Designed by the prominent architecture firm of Maginnis, Walsh, and Kennedy, it combines a traditional Gothic style with modern Art Deco elements. Join us and docents from the Cathedral to explore the details and history found throughout this architectural gem.