In 1833, a French missionary, Father Benedict Roux, arrived with instructions to form a permanent parish. At 11th and Broadway, the community built a log cabin church in 1835.
Father Bernard Donnelly initiated the building of a permanent brick church on the site in 1857. Recruiting 300 Irish day laborers to cut away the bluffs, level the ground and establish a brick works.
When Bishop John Joseph Hogan arrived in 1880, he selected Donnelly's church to become the Cathedral. Because the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was built on the highest ground in the city, at 250 feet above street level -- the cupola quickly became a civic landmark.
In 1895, the growing community added a carillon of eleven bells. Crafted in 1912 by local artisans, the Cathedral's stained glass windows depict scenes from the life of Christ and other biblical themes.
After 74 years of weathering the elements, the Cathedral's copper dome began to deteriorate. Bishop John P. Cody created a Kansas City landmark when he finished the dome, cross and cupola with gold leaf in 1960.
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