Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 09/18/2014


Photo taken on December 28, 2013



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Grace Cathedral
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French Gothic architecture


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Grace Cathedral, #2 – California Street, San Francisco, California

Grace Cathedral, #2 – California Street, San Francisco, California
Grace Cathedral is an Episcopal cathedral located on Nob Hill in San Francisco. It is the cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of California, once state-wide in area, now comprising parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Its ancestral parish, Grace Church, was founded in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The cathedral is the daughter of historic Grace Church. Mark Twain was to satirize the church’s efforts to find a short-term rector in the 1860s and 1870s. Among the short-term rectors were roll film inventor Hannibal Goodwin and James Smith Bush great-grandfather of former US President George H. W. Bush and great-great-grandfather of former US President George W. Bush.

The first little chapel was built in the gold rush year of 1849, and the imposing third church, for a time called Grace "Cathedral", was destroyed in the fire following the 1906 earthquake. The railroad baron/banker Crocker family gave their ruined Nob Hill property for a diocesan cathedral, which took its name and founding congregation from the nearby parish. Dean J. Wilmer Gresham nurtured the young cathedral and work began on the present structure in 1928. Designed in French Gothic style by Lewis P. Hobart, it was completed in 1964 as the third largest Episcopal cathedral in the nation.

Laid out on the floor of Grace Cathedral is a labyrinth that is based on the famous medieval labyrinth of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres (The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres) located in Chartres, France. It is said that if a visitor walks the pattern of the labyrinth it will bring them to a meditative state. There is also another labyrinth outside of the cathedral in its courtyards.

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