Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cleveland Sacred Architecture Tour - Two Churches

This past Saturday The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America hosted tours of Cleveland Sacred Architecture featuring two architecturally significant Cleveland Catholic churches, St. Coleman and St. Stephen, located on Cleveland's near West Side. The tour was especially poignant as it was recently announced that St. Coleman's is slated to be closed in 2010.

St. Coleman Catholic Church (pictured left) was built in 1918 by second-generation immigrant families to serve the growing Irish immigrant population of Cleveland's West Side. St. Coleman's soaring twin bell towers and limestone facade with massive Corinthian columns is located at 2027 W. 65Th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.

The first stop on our tour architectural tour was St. Coleman's Church. It was a beautiful sunny day and the light shone through the leaded glass windows. Perfect!

Winged statue at front entrance of St. Coleman's.

photo by Steven Litt/Plain Dealer

The amazing marble Altars and Statues were brought here from Italy, while the Baptismal Font, Pulpit, and Communion Rail where imported from Dublin.

Marble Altar

Magnificent detail in the crown/capitols and statuary dividing leaded glass windows.

Example of the interior detail.

One of the "Stations of the Cross" framed in marble.

Detail shot of one of the "Stations of the Cross" located around the church.

Elaborate trompe l'oeil painting with jewels.

Exquisite detail and painting.

More trompe l'oeil and leaded glass window.

St. Stephen's Catholic Church

St. Stephen's was constructed in 1881 to serve the German-speaking Catholics living west of W. 44Th Street. The massive Gothic style church is built entirely of stone in the shape of a cross with soaring 75 feet high ceilings.

The altars and statues were carved from oak and were primarily imported from Munich, Germany in 1893.

The cathedral-style windows with deep colors and fine renderings of figures, plants, and architecture, were imported from Munich, Germany in 1906.

What beautiful detail!!

Amazing wood carving from Munich!

I was completely unaware that we had these jewels in our city. After viewing these magnificent churches on Saturday, I find the news of St. Coleman's closing and the potential loss of this wonderful architecture in Cleveland sad.
On a bright note, these churches are just a tiny portion of the outstanding architecture Cleveland has to offered and I am looking forward to joining The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America on future tours around town - with camera at the ready.
Hope that you enjoyed the post. Please let me know what you think about these Cleveland jems.

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