Tag: Cathedrals

  • 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.

  • Sweeping the Cathedral Steps

    In old-postcard colors, a view of the front steps of St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland.

  • St. Peter’s Church, North Side

    This splendid old church may look a bit prouder than the ordinary Catholic parish church, and it has every right to its pride: for a little more than a decade, it was the cathedral for the Diocese of Allegheny. In 1876 the rapidly growing Diocese of Pittsburgh was split, with Allegheny (then an independent city) as the seat of the new diocese. It was a bad plan from the beginning: Allegheny had all the wealthiest parishes, but Pittsburgh was generously allowed to keep all the debt. The shockingly un-Christian infighting that resulted ended only in 1889, when the Diocese of Allegheny was suppressed. But a Catholic diocese isn’t that easy to get rid of, and there is still a titular Bishop of Allegheny. He lives in Newark, where in his day job he is auxiliary bishop of the diocese there.

    St. Peter’s is just across Arch Street from the National Aviary, a short walk from the North Side subway station.

    Addendum: This church was built in 1872; the architect was Andrew Peebles, who also designed First English Lutheran downtown.