Friday, June 02, 2006

The Original Construction (1912-1914)

In 1912, Reverend John Gerhard Heiring and his bishop, Most Reverend Theophile Meerschaert, broke ground on Eighth Street on Boulder Avenue with the dream of constructing a beautiful church - a sign of the permanent Catholic presence in Tulsa.

Upon its completion in 1914, Holy Family Church was the tallest building in Tulsa. Although the new skyscrapers are far larger than Holy Family, the church remains one of the "must see" landmarks in downtown Tulsa. Monsignor Heiring called the church a "Tri-Spired Gem," referring to the three soaring spires.

By 1931, the Catholic population in Oklahoma had grown to a point where the solitary Bishop of Oklahoma had to travel between Oklahoma City and Tulsa to celebrate major Masses. Holy Family in Tulsa and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City became "co-cathedrals."

In 1947, Holy Family's original palette of pale greens, blues, and yellows needed to be repainted due to three decades of soot from candles and incense. The priests chose an ornate series of stencil patterns.

In 1973, the Diocese of Oklahoma was split into two. The newly created Archdiocese of Oklahoma City consisted of the western parts of Oklahoma. The Diocese of Tulsa comprised eastern Oklahoma and had as its cathedral, Holy Family. The following year, the Cathedral was again renovated to accomodate the changes following the Second Vatican Council and the changes due to becoming a Cathedral. The ornate stencils were replaced with a more serene, monochromatic color scheme.

As Holy Family Cathedral nears its centennial in 2014, Reverend Monsignor Gregory A. Gier and the Cathedral's Building Committee is working to ensure that Holy Family retains all of its beauty for another hundred years.

1 comment:

clearcreekfan said...

Mike -

Thank you for this blog -- as a lifelong Tulsan, I love to see historic photographs.

Keep up the great work.