310 Montgomery Street
This structure, the Third Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, was
designed by English born architect, Henry Dudley. Records indicate Dudley
was working on the plans in 1883, the corner stone was laid on June 25, 1884 and
the structure was completed in 1885. The total cost of the project,
including the lot, was $150,000.
The stone tower, rising over 200 feet, is topped with a stone
cross donated by Andrew and Horace White (see the
White Memorial Building) and dedicated to their mother Clara Dickson White.
This building was the third home for the oldest
Episcopal congregation in Syracuse. When the second was demolished to make way
Old Federal Building, some of the stones from the church were saved for this
Here is how the authors of
Architecture Worth Preserving describe St. Paul's:
"The exterior, called 'Old English Gothic' when it was
built, is simple and severe, the rock-faced gray limestone from the Onondaga
Reservation being relieved only by small windows and plain buttresses. At the
street corner, however, rises a square tower crowned by a slender stone spire
whose height of 225' was an audacious display of structural skill. At the
eastern end, alongside the tower, is a high polygonal apse.
image for enlargement)
Library of Congress, Historic American Building Survey, HABS,NY,34-SYRA,12-1
"The interior is lofty and spacious, divided into a
traditional nave and side aisles by pointed arcades carried on polished
granite columns. Walls are faced with light-colored brick, in which are
inserted some horizontal bands of ornamental tiles. The whole effect reminds
one of mid-19th Century English churches designed by Scott, Butterfield and
Street, who were then evolving a new interpretation of medieval forms.
"Henry Dudley, a New York architect, was working on
the plans in May, 1883. A chapel was the first unit to be built; construction
of the main building began in April, 1884, when a contract was let to Leamy
Brothers. In later years the building has been improved and redecorated
somewhat, but it remains substantially as it was when erected."
The size of St. Paul's parish hit its peak in the
1930's. Following World War II the population of Syracuse began to shift to the
suburbs and St. Paul's membership declined as well. An effort to name St. Paul's
the Cathedral of the Diocese was begun in the 1960's. This effort found success
in 1971 when the change was made official and membership in the church has grown
considerably since that time.
The major difference between the two pictures isn't to
be seen in the church building but in the buildings around it. In the 1970's,
the church purchased and demolished the seven story office building and movie
theater crowding it to the west. The grand Onondaga Hotel -- once the tallest
building to be seen behind the church's spire -- has now been replaced with a
high-rise office building.