Holy Name Cathedral, Brisbane
Holy Name Cathedral was a planned, then partially built, then discontinued project to build a Catholic cathedral in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia. It was to have been the seat of the Archbishopric of Queensland and was intended to have been the largest church building of any Christian denomination in the Southern Hemisphere. The formidable Archbishop James Duhig was the chief proponent of the project. Building began in 1927 and in the 1930s services were held in a crypt chapel on the site. After Duhig's death in 1965 the project lost its impetus. The archdiocese sold the site to property developers in 1985. Today the perimeter walls and some balustrades in Ann Street and part of Gotha Street have been preserved in an apartment complex called "Cathedral Place".

Background

Site
The site of the Holy Name Cathedral had previously site of "Dara", the 1850 built residence of the first Catholic Bishop of Brisbane, James Quinn (1859”“1881). The 1850 house was demolished and replaced by a more substantial dwelling of the same name that housed the second bishop, Robert Dunne, who was later the first Archbishop of Brisbane (1830”“1917) and then Archbishop Duhig from 1917 until 1928 when "Dara" was demolished to make way for the Holy Name Cathedral project.

"Duhig the Builder"
In the early years of Duhig's ecclesiastical provinciate, his archdiocese took on an extensive building program, including churches, hospitals and schools.

Design, building, acrimonious end of the Holy Name project

Design
Holy Name Cathedral was designed by the Sydney firm of architects "Hennessy, Hennessy & Co."

Building
The intended site for the cathedral was on the rise at the southern end of the inner city suburb of Fortitude Valley, between Ann and Wickham Streets. Concrete foundations for the building were laid in the 1920s. Due to the Great Depression fund-raising efforts stalled. Nevertheless, Duhig managed to raise enough funds to build a crypt on the site which was completed in 1934. However, fundraising efforts stalled shortly thereafter and construction never recommenced.

End of the project
The Holy Name Cathedral project was subject to further ongoing setbacks. In 1949 the Holy Name architects sued for unpaid fees. There was also a formal church protest against Duhig, claiming imprudence, irresponsibility, malevolence and subservience to the wealthy, which put an end to the dream of a new cathedral. Following this it is believed that Duhig never mentioned the cathedral in public again and took his dream with him when he died in 1965. Stone remaining at the former site of Holy Name Cathedral was sold to the Anglican St John's Cathedral.

Footnote: St Stephens
St Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane in the central business district has remained the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane.