Hispanic Architecture and the Cathedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe

Cathedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe

Also referred to as “Cathedral Guadalupe”, located in the Arts District of Downtown Dallas the Cathedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe dates back to the late 19th century, and is the second busiest Catholic Church in the United States.

The exterior of the building is stunning and boasts a gorgeous gothic style of architecture, and the inside is truly a sight to behold.


The Building: Cathedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe

The Cathedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe is the “city’s oldest Catholic parish, this High Victorian Gothic cathedral was built in 1902 by Galveston’s great nineteenth-century architect, Nicholas Clayton…Over 13,000 people file through the church during the weekend. Services alternate between Spanish and English”. – dallasartsdistrict.org

The building broke ground in 1898 and was designed by Nicholas J. Clayton and features a Victorian Gothic aesthetic.

“The financial reality was in 1898 when the cornerstone was laid the church did not have the means to complete this vision… some 103 years after the church originally opened in 1902 his vision has been completed.”  – masoncontractors.org


The Architecture

“The imposing red brick and sandstone Gothic Revival cathedral’s 100 stained glass windows fill the massive nave, while the apse behind the altar holds the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Cathedral’s massive spire remained incomplete until 2005, when the towering 224-foot spire and 49-bell carillon was completed using recently discovered plans of original architect Nicholas J. Clayton.” – texaslakestrail.com

The bell tower addition “was built with current construction methods which are much different than the load bearing solid brick base. The contractor drilled piers and ran a structural steel structure up the existing tower and then up some additional 160′ to the top of the steeple. The installation which begun at 80′ in the air was very tedious and took approximately 4 1/2 months.

The footprint of the tower was 24’x 24′ which did not allow for the use of a large crew, and the crew used were multitasking craftsmen working as stonemasons and bricklayers. DBI was responsible for designing and installing the mobile tower scaffolding, removing and salvaging existing materials that would then be reinstalled, installing a CMU backup system, handling all moisture control related issues, setting all cast stone, and laying all brick which were 8 1/2” x 2 3/8” x 3 1/2” laid to 1/4” mortar joints to match the existing structure.” – masoncontractors.org

Fun Facts:

  • Cathedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe oversees the second largest Catholic church membership in the United States
  • Spanish language services are held daily
  • joined with Sacred Heart in close by “Little Mexico” and created one parish
  • the gothic revival style in which the Cathedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe is built dates back to 1940s England

Visitor Information:


  • Mass – Monday through Friday at 12 noon in English and 7 p.m. in Spanish
  • Confessions – Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 6:55 p.m.




2215 Ross Ave, Dallas, TX 75201


This video from the Texas Historical Commission was produced for their heritage travel app, Texas Time Travel Tours:

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