Sometimes called the “Cathedral of the Westbank” owing to its Gothic Revival architecture, the current Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church building was dedicated on November 25, 1929. The parish, originally named St. Bartholomew, was founded in 1847. The parish’s first church was a wooden structure built on land donated by the daughters of Barthelemy Duverje several blocks from the current site.
In 1872, authorities renamed the parish Holy Name of Mary. By 1873, a wooden building on the Verret Street site served as the parish church. Although spared during the 1895 Algiers Fire, the church later suffered damage from the 1915 hurricane. A termite infestation and foundation problems led to the decision to replace the 1873 structure with the current church building. The former church’s communion rail, statuary, and stained glass windows were incorporated into the architectural plan of the church standing today.
Designed by architect Alexander Norman, Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church is 178 feet in length and 100 feet wide. The tower previously held a large riverboat bell donated by a local steamship company. Among the church’s seventy-five stained glass windows are many created by the Franz Mayer firm of Munich, Germany, including the rose windows visible at each end of the transept as well as the five-panel window behind the altar. The four statues made of Indiana limestone that are placed in niches extending upward over the front door were sculpted by Enrique Alférez, whose work can be seen throughout New Orleans.
In August 2009, the St. Julian Eymard and Holy Name of Mary parish communities merged.