On a trip into Charleston last month I walked down a section of Broad Street that I had somehow missed before and discovered the massive Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The first cornerstone for a church on this spot was laid in 1850 and an 1100 seat cathedral was consecrated in 1854. Six years later it burned to the ground in The Great Charleston Fire of 1861. Decades of fundraising culminated in the present day Gothic building being started in 1890.
I was delighted to find that the structure is Connecticut tool-chiseled brownstone. In Connecticut, Ted and I lived only a few of miles from the now defunct Portland Brownstone Quarry. This stone was used all over the US starting in the late 1700s, reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid 1890s. It is most famous as the namesake of the New York City and Boston “Brownstones.”
Zoom in on any one of these images to see the detail of the tooling. I need to go back to capture some of the material detail.
The building is impressive in its size, 200 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 167 feet to the tall. There was supposed to be a spire, but lack of funding kept that from being completed.
6 thoughts on “Charleston Cathedral with Connecticut Connection”
Very impressive, love your photos Ellen!
Thanks, Liz. Looking forward to getting back there with this new knowledge and taking some different images.
Nice shots Ellen. I’ve never seen it before either. It’s very impressive.
Thanks, Gina. I don’t know how I had missed it and now wonder what else has escaped me down town. I guess I have to go back!