St Mary Star of the Sea - 33 Howard Street. WEST MELBOURNE [Walking Melbourne Building Information]
Walking Melbourne

St Mary Star of the Sea: 33 Howard Street, WEST MELBOURNE

St Mary Star of the Sea
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St Mary Star of the Sea
St Mary Star of the Sea
St Mary Star of the Sea
St Mary Star of the Sea

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Building Profile

Name : St Mary Star of the Sea


Address: 33 Howard Street

Postcode: 3003

St Mary Star of the Sea is a landmark

Construction Details

Built: 1892 - 1900
Original use: Church/Cathedral
Current use: Church/Cathedral

Built in the Edwardian period in the Neo-Gothic style

Notable features

A grandiose sandstone cruciform in the French Gothic style


At 175 feet long and 94 feet wide, the proposed church was criticised by Archbishop Carr for being too large, but parishioners embraced the ambitious project. Within a year, however, economic depression had wrought havoc on the project's finance. Remarkably, in the face of devastating poverty, parishioners managed to fund ongoing construction, and church was built in eight years.

Phillip Kennedy took over Henderson's architectural role, and the contrast between the church's exterior and interior can be attributed to his influence. Henderson's rose windows, battered plinths, cylindrical turrets, and soaring groined timber ceiling exemplify the French Gothic Revival. Kennedy's glossy marble and granite pillars, intricate marble fittings, and pink tinted walls, however, betray an Italianate influence.

On 18 February 1900, Cardinal Moran opened and blessed the new church to great fanfare, before an assembly of 1,400. Local Catholic newspaper The Advocate remarked that “The congregation has literally emerged from the worst ecclesiastical building in the colony to enter one of the finest.”

Architect: Edgar J Henderson

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