Tag: Cathedrals

  • Transept Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral

    Transept tower

    A large Gothic church can be prickly with towers. In addition to the great front towers whose spires can be seen for miles, St. Paul’s has a pair of smaller towers on each transept front.

  • St. Simon the Zealot

    St. Simon the Zealot

    A statue of St. Simon the Zealot on the east transept façade of St. Paul’s Cathedral. He is identified by the instrument of his martyrdom, the saw, which (according to one common tradition) was also how the prophet Isaiah was killed.

  • St. Paul’s in Winter Sunlight

    St. Paul’s Cathedral, Oakland, Pittsburgh

    A winter view from the Mellon Institute. This is a high-dynamic-range picture made from three separate photographs, which helps preserve the detail in the shadows as well as the sunlight.

  • St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

    St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

    The classical style of this church, which is now the cathedral for the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, is quite unusual for a Greek Orthodox church. Greek Christians do not usually build in a Greek classical style—and the style of this church, with the prominent arch in the front, is more Roman than Greek. The explanation is that it was built for Methodists; the Orthodox congregation bought it from them.

    Even if you don’t know much Greek, you can probably guess that this is the name of the church in Greek: “St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral Church.”

    Ionic capital

    One of the splendid Ionic capitals that hold up a front of which Vitruvius would have approved.

  • The Four Evangelists on St. Paul’s

    In order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, on the Fifth Avenue front of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Oakland.

  • Gargoyles of St. Paul’s

    Look for them on the Fifth Avenue front of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oakland.

  • Reflections of St. Paul’s

    St. Paul’s Cathedral reflected in the Software Engineering Institute across the street.

  • Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral

    There are at least three cathedrals in Oakland, in addition to the Cathedral of Learning, which is a cathedral metaphorically but not the seat of a bishop. Most Pittsburghers would be able to identify St. Paul’s, the Roman Catholic cathedral. Many would remember that there’s a Greek Orthodox cathedral, because its famous food festival attracts enough of a crowd to have an impact on Oakland traffic. This is the third. It was built as a Syrian Orthodox church in 1955, and it interprets traditional Eastern Christian forms with a sort of modernist severity.


  • Spire of Trinity Cathedral

    The spire of Trinity Cathedral, with the Oliver Building in the background and the pinnacles of First Presbyterian Church in front and to the right.

  • St. Paul’s Cathedral and Its Rectory

    This seems to have been the masterpiece of its architects, the Chicago firm of Egan & Prindeville; indeed, the only other work of theirs mentioned in their Wikipedia article is a cathedral in San Francisco that burned in 1962. If they have to be remembered for only one work, though, this is one to be proud of. It was built in 1906, but—like all great cathedrals—it is really only beginning to take shape more than a century later. It takes a heap of liturgy to make a church a cathedral, and chapels and decorations continue to be added by successive bishops.

    The Rectory is designed in a matching but more restrained Gothic style.

    Addendum: According to the article “Designing in God’s Name: Architect Carlton Strong,” the rectory (built in 1926–1927) was designed by Thomas Carlton Strong, who also designed Sacred Heart Church in Shadyside.