This church was founded in 1858 and dedicated the same year by Bishop (now Saint) John N. Neumann of Philadelphia. Referred to at the time as a ‘model of beauty, simplicity, solidity and economy,” the church represents an example of the Byzantine Revival architectural style. The principal founder and first priest was the Very Reverend Patrick Reilly, who served the parish from 1858 until his death in 1885. A central tower was added to church in 1871. Originally incorporated as “St. Mary’s Catholic Church” in 1877, the name of the church was changed when it was reincorporated in 1894 and became incorporated as “Church of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.” A rededication service was held on December 8, 1907, after expansion of the facility. Additional land was purchased for the church complex at various times during the 20th century. Although extensively damaged during a fire in the 1960s, the structure was saved and continues to serve the spiritual needs of residents of the community. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.


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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Connor Graham at (302) 744-5019 or via email at

LOCATION: East 6th and Pine Streets, Wilmington.