Holy Name Cathedral
History: The parish was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1843. The catholic vatican created the diocese of Chicago, lead by Bishop William Quarter and Reverend Walter Quarter, which was headquartered at Cathedral of St Mary on the corner of Madison and Wabash. In 1885, Church of the Holy Name was constructed on State Street. These first two buildings burnt down in the Great Chicago Fire. The structure we see today had its cornerstone laid on July 19, 1874 at 730 N Wabash Avenue (“Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago”). Brooklyn Architect Patrick Charles Keely had much experience designing catholic churches and cathedrals. He was chosen to draft the parishes new building. The neogothic style seems particularly logical for a catholic cathedral in Chicago for they had just experienced massive immigration from European countries, many of them from catholic faith (“History”).
Architecture: Neogothic architecture had gained much momentum at the end of the 19th century, especially for religious structures as it was intended to be a religious style. As can be seen in the 2 photographs I captured, Holy Name Cathedral is full of gothic revival themes such as the large, ornamented, round window in the center, lanceted windows above the entrance and on the sides of the tower, great detailing in the stone and glass window panes, and the rosary finial on the peak of the structure. As stated, neogothic architecture is a representative of spirituality. These tall pointed towers are aimed toward the heavens so to speak and the abundance of windows lets God’s light shine through (“Gothic Revival Architecture”).
St John’s Episcopal Church
History: St John’s parish dates back as far as 1836, originating in Flint, Michigan at St Paul’s Church. In the early ‘60s, Saginaw sees its first rectory of St John’s parish. This first building was a small wooden structure fronting on Hancock Street with gothic inspiration. In 1873, St John’s underwent an expansion for its growing congregation. The present structure we see began construction July 12, 1883 on 123 N Michigan Avenue under Detroit based architect Gordon W. Lloyd (Montanus 8). Lloyd popularized himself as a designer of many episcopal churches and cathedrals throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (“Gordon W. Lloyd”). During this time there were many people in Saginaw for the lumber industry, so churches such as this one and St Andrews had to be incredibly large (Montanus 9).
As can be seen in my photographs, St John’s windows and doors all come to the neogothic lanceted peaks, each pinnacle topped with rosary finials, a large window at the frontfacing side, and the tallest tower consists of great detailing. All features consistent with gothic revival (“Gothic Revival Architecture”).
Creating a Present and Suggesting a Future
During the late 19th century, neogothic architecture had gained popularity in America. Previous, a lot of neoclassical and neoromanesque architecture was seen. Neogothic is a style often associated with christianity and a return to religion and morality. There is also much speculation that the rise of neogothic architecture in America was a response to rapid industrialization and a desire for some to return to times of beautiful ornamentation as opposed to hulking factories (“Gothic Revival Architecture”).
Both St John’s and Holy Name were constructed during a time of great population increases, industrialization and advances for a better, more beautiful city in Chicago and Saginaw. The architects drew from a Godly and provoking style that dates back to 12th century France to craft the designs of the churches. For both Chicago and Saginaw, neogothicism suggests a political outreach to culture and immigrants. Using a form of architecture that was originally popular from the 12th to the 16th century and then reappears but two centuries later shows proof of a timeless beauty (“Gothic Architecture”). Neogothic architecture is still seen in so many churches today. Architects Lloyd and Keely both had much experience in drafting designs for churches and cathedrals. They both established a direction of cultural uphold for the future and a tie to European roots with their designs, as well as being accommodating to the population and religion of immigrants (“Gothic Revival Architecture”).
“Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 27 May 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.
“Gothic Revival Architecture.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 June 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.
“St John’s Episcopal Church (Saginaw, Michigan).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 27 May 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.
“History.” Holynamecathedral.org. Holy Name Cathedral, 2001. Web. 12 June 2015.
Montanus, Emil. A Brief History of St John’s Church, Saginaw, Michigan. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. Print.
“Gordon W. Lloyd.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 30 April 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.
“Gothic Architecture.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 21 May 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.
9 thoughts on “Holy Name Cathedral vs. St John’s Episcopal Church”
I really appreciated the difference in the two pictures you took of Holy Name Cathedral. They really showcased the different aspects on the neogothic architecture.
I like how you were able to find to very similar style buildings that shows great neogothic style in its architecture and make great comparisons.
I liked how you gave the history and the architecture of both buildings. They are both really great examples of neogothic style like stated above. Great job.
I really loved your reasoning for why the architects would have used this neo-gothic design. It makes sense that they would want immigrants too feel at home in their places of worship and the neo-gothic ties heavily to European culture.
This felt to by-the-book essay like to me rather than blog like. I would of liked to see more personal references come through rather than an overload of information. You did make very good points and comparisons to the buildings and the reasoning behind why the architects built them the way and why they did. The images showed the how similar they are in the sense of immigrants feeling at home, but their differences based on their locations and the constructors of them. It made good references to the two of them a like in direct comparisons, it would of been interesting to go a bit deeper and see the overall thoughts of the architecture comparison globally both now and then.
You did a great job of connecting these two churches. The front of both of them are so similar they could possibly be confused for each other. Your paragraph about suggesting the future was spot on. Great blog.
I really like the neogothic architecture of these old churches. The two of these churches were compared so well. I liked how you captured the Gothic architecture of both buildings. Nice job!
Both churches are beautiful! Great job tying them together. Interesting read.
Very detail historical, contextual, and architectural blog. Good job for the research and your choice. Same for the comparison! You done a good job by the mutual context in which they were built.