St. John Gualbert Cathedral is one of the highlights of Johnstown, and a landmark in the early architectural careers of the Beezer brothers. By using structural steel in the walls to support the roof, the architects could use lighter materials, including decorative terra-cotta, for the walls. The church measures 124 feet in length and rises 47 feet. The 165-foot-tall square corner tower is, as the architects intended, reminiscent of the Campanile of San Marco in Venice in both form and decoration. Ironically, this tower is older than the tower so often photographed in Venice. The original tenth-century Venetian tower collapsed unexpectedly in 1902, and its replacement was not completed until 1904, by which time the Johnstown tower had been standing for nearly a decade. The church's interior space was modernized after Vatican II, but retains its single-span coved and coffered ceiling, round-arched windows, and fluted pilaster strips with Corinthian capitals.
You are here
St. John Gualbert Cathedral
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.