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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TRINITY CATHEDRAL - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TRINITY CATHEDRAL and its parent Trinity Parish constitute not only the present-day seat of the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio but also one of Cleveland's original religious organizations. Trinity Parish was organized at the house of Phineas Shepherd in BROOKLYN (Old Brooklyn) on 9 Nov. 1816, although EPISCOPALIANS had been present from the time of MOSES CLEAVELAND†'s arrival. The first rector was Roger Searle. Between 1820-25, the parish worshipped in Brooklyn, where many of the members lived. With the decision to move to the east side of the CUYAHOGA RIVER, a frame building was built on the corner of St. Clair and Seneca (W. 3rd) streets. Consecrated in 1829, it was the first church building within the Cleveland village limits. St. John's Parish in OHIO CITY (CITY OF OHIO) was founded in 1834 by former Trinity parishioners who lived on the west side. By 1846 the parish began to plan for a larger and more central building east of PUBLIC SQUARE on Superior St. The building, completed in 1854-55, was of Gothic design.

Trinity Parish had maintained a close relationship with the episcopate of the Diocese of Ohio since 1836, when the bishop had been invited to reside adjacent to the church. In 1890 Trinity Church was offered to Bp. William A. Leonard as a cathedral to be maintained by the parish. Plans were begun by CHARLES F. SCHWEINFURTH† in 1890 for a building at Euclid Ave. and E. 22nd St. His plan eventually evolved to the present English Perpendicular Gothic structure, built between 1901-07 and consecrated on 24 Sept. 1907. The cathedral is cruciform in plan, with a square central tower rising above the crossing. The exterior is of Indiana limestone, and the interior is finished in vitrified brick, stone, and dark oak. It is attached by an ambulatory to a parish house containing a hall, meeting rooms, and offices, completed in 1895. Trinity Parish has been involved in work within the community, ranging from the Church Home for the Sick & Friendless (ca. 1855) to hunger and daycare programs (1980s). The Music and Performing Arts department, incorporated separately in 1991, has become an increasingly visible facet of the cathedral's activities. Having undergone major renovations in 1993, which included installation of a new copper roof and interior restoration, Trinity was rededicated in Oct. 1994.

Pierce, Roderick Hall. Trinity Cathedral Parish (1967).

See also RELIGION.

Last Modified: 22 Jul 1997 04:42:48 PM

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