Side A: Built in 1852 and dedicated a year later, St. Patrick Church is the second oldest Roman Catholic Church in Columbus. Founded as the English speaking parish, this church of Norman Gothic design served as the home for three future bishops. Located on Naghten Street, the “Irish Broadway” of the nineteenth century, St. Patrick’s parish provided a vital place for the acculturation of the neighborhood Irish immigrants into mainstream American society. The Irish heritage is remembered through the shamrocks that emblazon the heads of each pew. Severely damaged by “the Great Fire” in 1935, the church was quickly restored and serves today as a vibrant religious center for central Ohio. The Dominican Fathers have staffed St. Patrick Church since 1885.
Side B: On this site in September 1905, the Dominican Fathers opened their classical preparatory school for the Diocese of Columbus, St. Patrick’s College. Beginning with sixty-two young men and three Dominican professors, in February 1906 this institution moved two blocks east to a newly constructed building at Mt. Vernon and Washington Avenues. Built through the vision of Dominican Father Lawrence F. Kearney and Bishop James J. Hartley, both men had the dream of a Catholic College for central Ohio. The State of Ohio provided a college charter in 1911, and the institution became Aquinas College. While the full range of college courses never developed, this institution, known a Aquinas College High School, educated over six thousand young men until its closing in August 1965.