2612 State Street is both the current and past site of St. Mary’s Parish Church. The current building was constructed in the Gothic Revival Style in 1937. At that time, Edward J. Kelly, the Bishop of Boise was criticized for building it so far out of town as what is now the corner of West State and North 28th Streets was at the extreme edge of the city!
Considering that it was built during the Great Depression when funds were scarce, the building was not originally grand in size. The church was initially a rectangular, symmetrical building. It had stained glass windows, unadorned with images but rather containing simple colored glass. The tall conical steeple capped with a cross follows the religious tradition of directing the viewer’s “eyes towards heaven”. This steeple, however, is somewhat distinctive in that rather than being made of iron or another solid material, it is made of rough, unfinished brass which produces an illuminated effect when exposed to sunlight. Elements of the Gothic Revival are evident in the building’s tall spires and pointed “Gothic” arch windows containing tracery and the elegant Quoins of the primary entry door. The red brick exterior is interspersed with “clinker” brick.
St. Mary’s Parish Church has undergone various remodels over the years. However, between 2008 and 2009 the building underwent a massive expansion. So much so that what previously comprised the entirety of the church is currently just the building’s pulpit! A massive addition was added onto the west side of the church, drastically helping to alter the original appearance of the building. Luckily, the stained glass windows, red brick, and the steeply sloped rooflines characteristic of the original building are still readily apparent. The remodel also included the addition of a walled garden which currently obscures much of the building’s façade. Currently, one side of the church is adorned with a mural of a butterfly and three roses, which is both aesthetically pleasing and also serves as religious symbolism.
The building’s interiors are truly magnificent; blending form and function. Wooden King- Post Trusses are left bare providing an interesting visual true to the Gothic Revival while simultaneously aiding in supporting the roof. This concept is mirrored in the wooden posts which are adorned with carved figures angels.
The pulpit is separated from the pews by several pillars, and, while there is plenty of space to walk through but enough wall to provide a distinctive separation. The building’s interior also contains other interesting features such as a mosaic tile fountain.