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Bryn Athyn Cathedral

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1914–1919, Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson in association with Raymond Pitcairn. 1001 Cathedral Rd.

The Pennsylvania Railroad and Pittsburgh Plate Glass were foundations of the fortune that have supported the construction of the Cathedral of the New Church for nearly a century. Designed by New York City Gothicists Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson, it is one of the premier examples of historic building practice, here represented by masonry, wood, ironwork, and stained glass guilds whose members handcrafted every element of the cathedral. Ralph Adams Cram's evocative design is intended to suggest the evolution of a site from the early Middle Ages in the Romanesque-styled Ezekiel Tower through to the fourteenth-century French Gothic of the main building and tower. Arthur Kingsley Porter, a Harvard medievalist, viewed the complex as “alone of modern buildings … worthy of comparison with the best of the middle ages.” Rivaling the Washington, D.C., National Cathedral and New York's St. John the Divine (also by Cram), it attests to the continuing hold of Gothic on the popular imagination.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Bryn Athyn Cathedral", [Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 211-211.

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