Grand Simplicity: St. Paul Shrine

November 23rd, 2012 Posted in Architecture, Downtown, Painting/Decorative Arts

Having recently attended a wedding at Saint Paul Shrine (officially known as the Church of the Conversion of St. Paul), we were suitably impressed by its intimate, humble beauty. Although St. Paul Shrine is rather petite in size (as churches go), its interior details are stunning.


A little bit of its history: the Church, located at East 40th and Euclid Avenue, was originally built in 1875 as an Episcopal church. Its exterior is sandstone with an octagonal tower that stands 120 feet high. The architect, Gordon W. Lloyd of Detroit, designed the exterior in a  Victorian English Country Gothic style.

In 1921, the first American Foundation of Poor Clare nuns was established in Cleveland. By 1930, the order had grown and was searching for a suitable location. Cleveland Bishop Schrembs acquired the recently vacated church (the congregation moved to Cleveland Heights,) erected a new monastery for the Poor Clare order, and rededicated it to serve as a shrine where the sisters pray 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The Cleveland Restoration Society facilitated the lighting of its tower through its Steeple Lighting Program.



Inside, the floor is terrazzo, the original altar is made from beige limestone, the pews are of black walnut and the woodwork on the ceiling and behind the altar are mahogany. While the church is known for its stained glass windows, made by Franz Xavier Zettler’s workshop in Munich, we found the gorgeous woodwork and painted interior to be quite charming.





A little peek at the beautiful wedding…



The Cleveland area is so fortunate to have many, many examples of superior architecture and beautiful buildings!

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