Thursday, September 13, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Church of the Annunciation, Houston, Texas

Church of the Annunciation, Houston, Texas, circa 1907,
Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Annunciation Catholic Church, Houston, Texas, July 2010, by Ed Uthman, Houston, Texas, USA (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Front doors of Annunciation Catholic Church, Houston, Texas, April 26, 2008
by Onilad (Own work) [CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0], via Flickr
The Church of the Annunciation, now known as Annunciation Catholic Church, in Houston, Texas, has a long significance to my family.  Guokas and Wolfe kin were baptized, buried from, and married here from 1901 through 1954, and my aunt lived in the adjacent Incarnate Word Convent at various times in the 1950s through 1980s, while she was a teacher and principal at the (also adjacent) Incarnate Word Academy - from which she and my mother both graduated in 1945 and 1948 respectively.

Here is part of its history, from the church website:

"Annunciation Catholic Church was the second Catholic Church established in Houston...In 1866 the bishop of Galveston ...purchased... the half block at Texas and Crawford streets for $2,000.  Texas architect Nicholas J. Clayton designed the structure using the Gothic forms of European cathedrals.  The bricks from the old Harris County Courthouse were purchased and used for the construction of the church which was started in 1867 and completed in 1874.  On April 25, 1869, the cornerstone was laid...the sacristy and steeple were added between 1881 and 1884....[Today it] is the oldest existing church building in the city."

As the images from circa 1907 and 2010 above show, the church looks much the same today as it did over a hundred years ago, except that it is now (painted?) white.  As the photo of the entrance above shows, the front doors now have canopies above them.  More photos of the exterior and (gorgeous!) interior of the church can be found here.  And finally, here is an article about some summer 2012 restoration work on the church exterior.

On Sunday, I'll post some images of the family records (mentioned above) from this church that I found recently.

This post is for a series on "Doors of Faith" at the Catholic Gene blog.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. I've actually attended Mass and a wedding at Annunciation, Amanda. Interesting to see that it is the oldest church building in the city of Houston. That explains why the bathrooms are not located within the original church building. ;)

    Thanks for highlighting another beautiful church for our Doors of Faith celebration at The Catholic Gene.

    1. Lisa, I didn't realize that about the bathrooms - but it makes sense for a church built in 1867-1874!