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St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church

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1906, William P. Ginther. 130 E. 4th St.

Pastor Peter Cauley commissioned Akron architect William Ginther to design this stone church to house a set of fourteen life-size Stations of the Cross carved by the Franz Mayer Studio of Munich, Germany. Cauley met a representative of the Mayer firm at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and chose these works for members of his Irish congregation employed on the nearby canal and docks. Ginther created a Romanesque design with no windows at the first level to accommodate the fourteen interior sculpture niches. Each niche is decorated with handpainted murals by Italian artisans hired by the Mayer Studio. German-made stained glass clerestory windows light the interior, which seats eight hundred. Two square towers of greatly differing heights flank the church's triple-arched entrance and gabled front. The three rounded apses at the rear are adjacent to a smokestack, which served the heating system.

To the west, a three-story, forty-seven-room rectory (1913–1914) designed by Ginther accommodated the parish's four priests, who were fraternal brothers: Fathers Peter, Joseph, Stephen, and Charles Cauley. Their unmarried sister was the housekeeper. The rectory, built to house visiting priests as well as those assigned to the parish, contains eight full bedroom suites. Ginther also designed St. Ann's Church in Erie (1894; 921 East Ave.).

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church", [Erie, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 487-488.

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