San Francisco Landmarks
Église Notre Dame des Victoires, known as The French Church, traces its origins back to 1848. It is significant as one of San Francisco's early ethnic congregations.
The French priest, Père Langlois journeyed to Oregon in 1842 with French Canadian trappers under the auspices of the Hudson Bay Company. He arrived in San Francisco in 1848. On July 19 of that year, he celebrated mass in an army chapel which was called St. Francis Church. He was assisted by Père Lebret, with sermons delivered in French, Italian and Spanish.
In 1856, Gustav Touchard bought a Baptist Church located at this site on Bush Street. It was rededicated as Église Notre Dame des Victoires with Mgr. Alemany, Archbishop of California, officiating. In 1885, Archbishop Riordan (see Landmark 151: The Archbishop's Mansion) gave the church to the Marist Fathers.
The old church was destroyed by the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Work began on a new church and rectory in 1912 and was completed in 1913. Louis Brochoud designed the existing Romanesque church. The architect for the Renaissance/Baroque rectory is not known.
The centennial of the founding of the church is commemorated by a plaque given by the Republic of France in 1956.
Source: Planning Commission Resolution No. 9915 dated 12 January 1984.