Envisioning the Future at the Basilica

The Basilica of Saint Mary Master Planning process honors the historic Cathedral’s past, celebrates the present, and prepares for the future.

 Basilica Master Planning model.
Photo: Elyse Rethlake

The Basilica of Saint Mary is one of the most important architectural landmarks in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Commissioned by Archbishop John Ireland in 1904 and designed by Emmanuel Masqueray, the Basilica celebrated its first Mass in 1914.

Over the years, the Basilica continued to grow and evolve with the parish and changes in the Catholic Church itself, serving as the Pro-Cathedral of the archdiocese with the Cathedral of Saint Paul. The Basilica has seen several renovations to repair the weathered architecture and structural damage from adjacent freeway vibrations—but never a comprehensive renovation.

Vision Statement

Now, more than 100 years after the Basilica’s first Mass, the Campus Space Planning Committee representing a diverse group of parishioners has developed a Master Plan vision statement, stating that “If the next intervention to the physical campus does nothing else, it should:

  • be a gateway that invites encounters, in a dynamic environment
  • that embraces tradition, provides refuge, builds connections and
  • inspires service as a catalyst to build inclusive communities.”
Design Team
Basilica Master Planning group
The multidisciplinary master planning team includes members from The Basilica; HGA, Beyer Blindel Belle; Duval; and Ten x Ten. Photo: Elyse Rethlake

With the help of The Basilica Landmark (an independent nonprofit), the Campus Space Planning Committee hired HGA to lead the Master Planning and Phase 1 Design, in partnership with a multidisciplinary team of experts, including Beyer Blinder Belle in historic preservation; Duval Companies in urban strategy; and TEN x TEN in landscape architecture.

The team is engaging with Basilica staff and volunteers as they translate the vision into architectural concepts. A small group of representatives from both The Basilica and The Basilica Landmark, called the Master Planning Committee, is working closely with the design team until the Master Plan is complete in 2020.

Read more . . .

For more information on the Master Plan, visit Basilica Magazine.