Tag Archives: Church

Charleston Churches on a Stormy Afternoon

Charleston, SC, is known for its abundance of churches and is sometimes referred to as the “Holy City.” The spires of this trio can be seen from a bird’s eye perspective from one of the parking garage rooftops.

Three Church Spires, Charleston
Three Church Spires, Charleston: Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Saint John’s Lutheran Church, Unitarian Church

The Unitarian Church is topped by a rooster weather vane, which had a summer storm to observe the afternoon I was there.

Unitarian Church, Charleston
Unitarian Church, Charleston

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist: Rear, B&W

Many of the large churches in historic Charleston, SC, are difficult to photograph in their entirety due to the closeness of their neighbors. Turns out that the tops of parking garages provide some neat views that get around this dilemma.

This image is the rear of Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist that I featured last fall in my post Charleston Cathedral with Connecticut Connection.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Charleston, SC
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Charleston, SC

The dramatic clouds were provided by an approaching summer thunder storm.

Charleston Cathedral with Connecticut Connection

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.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

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┬ámost 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.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

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.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist