This material is used by permission of Ohio University Press,

  • Architects: Michael Harding, Columbus; Robert T. Brooks, Columbus
  • 1896
  • 212 East Broad Street
  • Renovation: , McCarty & Bulford, Columbus, 1914 and 1949; Feinknopf Macioce Schappa, Columbus, 1986

The pointed arches and aged sandstone walls of Saint Joseph Cathedral bring a medieval Scottish flair to downtown Columbus.  With an asymmetrical entrance front, the exterior of the Gothic Revival cathedral features windows framed with bar tracery, pinnacle-capped buttresses with finials, ogival hoodmolds, crockets, and heavy paneled oak doors.  The deep tooling of the exterior stone renders a rich texture in light.  The central portion of the façade was to be flanked by two towers, but the southeast one was never built.  A 250-foot spire was intended for the top of the southwest tower, but was also never built.  Despite the irregular exterior with its central buttress where one would expect a door, the cathedral interior is symmetrically disposed according to a traditional basilica layout of a nave flanked by aisles.  These vessels are separated from the nave by arcades supported on compound piers of clustered colonettes with vegetated capitals.  The ribbed-vaulted ceiling appears taut and light while light pours in from the clerestory windows above the nave arcades. The bright stained-glass windows feature grisaille glass, and are reminiscent of those found in late medieval Europe.  The interior has been renovated several times during its history, including in 1986, when the new ciborium over the altar was erected.  The bishop’s residence, chancery, and rectory date from 1950, and are also built of stone in an understated medieval English manor style. They enclose a planted garth west of the cathedral that serves as an attractive oasis along Broad Street.