The Marian Center's Loretto Hall was constructed in 1904 as St. Mary's Academy, a high school for young women. Expansions in 1931 and 1935 created Rosary Hall and Clare Wing, to allow for the development of St. Clare College in 1937. That institution was renamed in 1946 for Samuel Cardinal Stritch. Cardinal Stritch College outgrew its home here and, in 1962, moved to its current location, just north of Milwaukee's city limits. In 1997, Stritch attained University status.
St. Mary's Academy continued to grow into the largest high school for young women in the State of Wisconsin. These women brought tremendous accolades for themselves and the school winning local and national recognition for scholastic achievement. In 1980, Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin recognized the school as an historic landmark. St. Mary's Academy closed in June, 1991, after preparing over 8,000 young women to become responsible citizens in our society, and to serve as leaders in a myriad of professions.
The Marian Center for Nonprofits was created in September 1991 to preserve the heritage of Loretto Hall, Rosary Hall and Clare Wing. The classrooms were converted to affordable offices for other nonprofit organizations. The Center has enjoyed phenomenal success recruiting diverse groups serving cities in and around Milwaukee County, the State of Wisconsin, the United States of America, and a number of countries in the world.
Specialty program rooms allow for vitality as the venue changes for special interests. The Social Room, a multi-purpose space in Loretto Hall, is rented on an hourly basis and is used for seminars by a variety of education-based organizations, presentations by community groups, recitals, small family gatherings, bridal and baby showers, birthday celebrations, and comparable other events. Former classroom spaces, which can be used for seminars, meetings, and classes, are available for time spans from one hour to multiple days.
The Gymnasium in Rosary Hall is rented on an hourly basis and used for basketball and soccer team practices. It also rents for demonstration programs, awards programs, social dance venues, class reunions, agency socials, craft fairs, and fund raising events, among other functions.
The Auditorium in Rosary Hall is available for large events which can be served by the theatre seating and stage presentation area.
St. Mary's Chapel in Loretto Hall is the site for family-sized weddings, baptisms, wedding-vow renewals, prayer vigils, and meditation.