St. Mark's Episcopal Pro-Cathedral





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 glass.

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 until 2001.

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.