Christian History Project. This site contains the text of 12 volumes on the history of mankind over the last 2,000 years written from a 'collectively-denominational' Christian perspective.

Washington Cathedral |
Washington: Gothic crosses the sea

Washington Cathedral is drawn from Chapter Two, beginning on page 60, of Volume Seven, A Glorious Disaster of the twelve-volume historical series The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. If you would like to order this book please visit www.TheChristians.info.

Though the National Cathedral was founded by Congress, its funding is wholly private

Washington Cathedral - Washington: Gothic crosses the sea

Washington Cathedral – Washington: Gothic crosses the sea
The view from the center of the Great Crossing, looking westward down the nave.

The Gothic phenomenon is not limited to Europe. In fact, the cathedral that graces these pages is located in Washington D.C. and it was put there by an act of the United States Congress. Envisioned by President Benjamin Harrison as a non-denominational house of national prayer he signed the charter in 1893, Congress approved and the project began.

However, this was not a new idea. As early as 1793 Pierre l’Enfant, when designing the first street plan for Washington created space for a “great church for national purposes.” Unfortunately, the land he set aside was eventually used to house the National Portrait Gallery. Therefore a new plot of land would be required for Washington’s new great church.

The site eventually chosen, Mount Saint Alban, dominates the American capital, the central spire of the cathedral being the highest point in the city. Construction began on the cathedral in 1907 with the foundation stone laid by President Theodore Roosevelt. The first services began only five years later in the Bethlehem Chapel, now located in the crypt. These services have been held daily ever since.

Astonishingly, the cathedral has had no public funding during any period of its history. Its construction was financed in its entirety by private donations. These funds are collected and administered by the National Cathedral Association. Members of the association were told that if they were to seek public funding, it would be denied under the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

This is the end of the Washington Cathedral category article drawn from Chapter Two, beginning on page 60, of Volume Seven, A Glorious Disaster. To continue reading more about Washington Cathedral from The Christians, Their First Two Thousand Years we suggest experiencing the rest of the book, complete with hundreds of magnificent illustrations, by ordering it at www.TheChristians.info