St. Mark's Episcopal Pro-Cathedral is located at 422 North Burlington
Avenue in Hastings, Nebraska. The original cathedral building was erected from
1921 to 1929. Constructed of rock-faced limestone, the cathedral is typical
of the Late Gothic Revival style of architecture where monochromaticity is accentuated
and building designs are more subdued than those from the High Victorian Gothic
period. The cathedral displays characteristics of English Gothic churches which
emphasize length and show moderately pitched roofs, stepped rectangular apses
and a tower over the crossing. Buttresses articulate the longitudinal bays and
a clerestory level is located above.
The front facade features a raised projecting entry with a parapet
gable, flanking buttresses and double doors. Two prominent engaged octagonal
towers are situated to either side of the main entry and frame a triple lancet
window arrangement in the upper portion of the gable facade. The water table,
copings, beltcourses and window surrounds are executed in smooth limestone to
provide a subtle yet distinguishing contrast to the rusticated stone used otherwise
in the building.
The interior plan of the cathedral shows a single rectangular-shaped
nave with arcades to each side. The crossing, delineated from the chancel area
by rood beam, contains the pulpit, lectern, and choir seating. The chancel houses
the rood screen and altar table. Walls are plastered and the exposed roof structure
is an elaborate beam system of king post trusses. All windows incorporate stained
The education wing, completed in 1957, was originally planned
by Cram, and gave the complex its present ell-shaped appearance. The massive
square-shaped tower situated at the crossing of the cathedral building was also
included in Cram's original design, but due to lack of funds was not constructed
The cathedral was designed in 1919 by renowned architect Ralph
Adams Cram, America's leading Gothic Revival architect. Cram's office was located
in Boston. He designed over 70 cathedrals and churches, the most notable the
Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The only other church of
his design in Nebraska is the First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln.
St. Mark's Episcopal Pro-Cathedral was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination form available
at Adams County Historical Society.