The Cathedral Church of Saint Luke and Saint Paul


It is the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. Construction was begun in 1810 and was originally known as St. Paul’s Radcliffeboro. The style of architecture is typical of the period, the interior being almost devoid of ornamentation with the exception of the chancel which, according to Dalcho the historian, is “richly painted, and ornamented with Corinthian pilasters having gilt capitals”.[citation needed] This description still applies today, as during the redecorating of the interior after the hurricane of 1989, the colors and applications first used in 1815 were employed as much as current means allowed.

The building was in continuous use during the Civil War, harboring congregations from those churches nearer the strongholds of the Union forces, whose cannons bombarded the city constantly. The church’s bell was dismantled and sent to Columbia to be melted down in support of the Confederate cause.

For the most part, the interior appears much as it did in 1815, a major exception being that of the stained-glass windows added later. In addition, the box pews were replaced in 1872 and the pulpit was moved from the middle aisle to its present location.

The building is known for its acoustical properties and is often sought by performing artists, particularly during the Spoleto Festival.



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