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Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

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1901–1906, Joseph H. McGuire. 1995, restoration, Robert P. Winthrop. Monroe Park between Floyd Ave. and Park Ave.

The architect of this spectacular building was Joseph H. McGuire, a Beaux-Arts-trained New York architect who specialized in buildings for Catholic organizations. He found patrons in Ida and Thomas Fortune Ryan of New York. Thomas Ryan was a Virginia-born industrialist and financier who, along with his wife, had a keen interest in buildings that served the Catholic church. The Richmond cathedral is constructed of limestone and has a dome, twin towers, and a monumental portico of six Corinthian columns supporting a pediment fronting Monroe Park. The building defies strict architectural classification, however, with its impressive synthesis of classical, Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque forms. The interior is a spectacular space with well-articulated ornamentation and finishes and a nave arcade that leads to a crossing capped by a magnificent dome.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Cathedral of the Sacred Heart", [Richmond, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 245-245.

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