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[photo] Ursuline Academy
Courtesy of Southwest School of Art & Craft, Richard Q. Kroninger photographer

During the 1840s, the Rev. John Odin, a French priest who was educated in Missouri, was directed to revitalize the Catholic Church, which had suffered a decline in influence following the end of Mexican control of Texas. He appealed to the nuns of the Ursuline Order of New Orleans for help. In 1851 the Ursuline Academy was constructed. This two-story building with double-story porches is a rare example of a construction technique associated with French settlements--pise de terre or "rammed earth" construction. Other buildings include the Dormitory, constructed of masonry in 1866, and the Academy Chapel, constructed from 1867-1870 of local stone. The Gothic Revival style Chapel adjoins the Dormitory on the north. The academy operated at this site until 1965.

The Ursuline Academy is located at 300 Augusta St. in San Antonio and is now the campus of the Southwest School of Art and Craft. Building tours are available by appointment Monday-Friday 10:00am to 3:00pm; exhibitions are open Monday-Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm. The Visitors' Center Museum is open Monday-Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 4:00pm. For further information, visit the school's website or call 210-224-1848. Several of the academy's buildings have also been documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey.


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