Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit

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Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit
The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit is the cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. St. Paul's is located at 4800 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, adjacent to the campus of Wayne State University. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

History
The parish of St. Paul was founded in 1824, as the first Episcopal and the first Protestant congregation in the then Michigan Territory. The original site of St. Paul’s church was on Woodward Avenue, between in Congress and Larned. In 1851, the church moved to the corner of Congress at Shelby. The funeral service for Henry Ford was held at Cathedral Church of St. Paul on Thursday April 9, 1947. Mourners passed by at a rate of 5,000 each hour at the public viewing the day before at Greenfield Village in Dearborn. At the funeral service, 20,000 people stood outside the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in the rain with 600 inside, while the funeral had attracted national attention as an estimated seven million people had mourned his passing (according to A&E Biography ).

Architecture
The current building, designed by renowned church architect Ralph Adams Cram, dates from 1907. It remains unfinished, the bell tower having never been completed. The church is built entirely of limestone, using medieval construction techniques, with no supporting steel superstructure. The building boasts soaring, pointed arches, wide expanses of stained glass, and elaborate tracery, exemplary of Gothic architecture, and includes a large architectural installation of Pewabic Pottery. In 1912 it became the cathedral of the diocese.

Significance
St. Paul's Cathedral is one finest examples of the Late Gothic Revival, an architectural style popular in the early years of the 20th century. American architect of the mid-19th century imported and re-interpreted the English Gothic Revival style, based on the visually lush details of Medieval cathedrals. The American architects copied the "Gothic" elements and combined them with simple building plans to create an American architectural style known as " Victorian Gothic." The Fort Street Presbyterian Church, built in 1876, is a premier example of early Victorian Gothic architecture. In contrast, in the early 20th century, more American architects attended new schools at M.I.T. and Columbia, or traveled to France for training at the École des Beaux-Arts. These architects, including Ralph A. Cram, felt Gothic architecture should develop from, rather than just copy, the architecture of Medieval churches. St. Paul's Cathedral is one of Cram's major early projects, one that defines his "Late Gothic Revival" style.

Present use
The current dean is the Very Reverend S. Scott Hunter, formerly Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Michigan. The cathedral coordinates programming with the Detroit Cultural Center.

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov activity.buildings_person.create
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com