Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and as a California Historic Landmark, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph began as a humble Franciscan adobe church in a Spanish civilian settlement, Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. Due to earthquakes and fires, a total of four St. Joseph's buildings have stood on the site, including the present cathedral, which dates to 1875 [1; 2; 3].
Backstory and Context
Nine years later, with the addition of the portico and
completion of the dome, the General Grant Classical style St. Joseph's
Cathedral was finished [1; 2]. In 1886, the Odell Tracker pipe organ was added
to the church, where it is still in use today--only one of four in the United
States and the only Odell in working condition on the West Coast. Thirty-six of
the cathedral's stained glass windows were installed between its opening and
1920, the earliest two having been made in Italy and sixteen more crafted in
Bavaria . The 1906 earthquake caused damage to the architectural detailing
and interior furnishings, and the 1920s saw refurbishing and an art enhancement
program at St. Joseph's, including the aluminizing of the copper domes, which
now appear silver. Further restoration was required when, in 1952, structural
issues were discovered, and again in the 1980s after the Diocese of San Jose
was established; by the end of the decade, St. Joseph's was its designated
cathedral [1; 2]. Due to these renovations and its historical and architectural
significance, the cathedral was elevated in 1997 to a minor basilica by Pope
John Paul II, as well as receiving status on the California Historical Landmark
an the National Register of Historic Places .
1. Bamburg, Bonnie and Bruce Radde. "St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church." National Parks Service, National Register of Historic Places. January 15, 1977. Accessed December 26, 2016. https://focus.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/77000345.
2. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph's. Official website of St. Joseph's Cathedral. Accessed December 26, 2016. http://www.stjosephcathedral.org/history/.
3. Whittle, Syd. "St.
Joseph's Cathedral." Historical Marker Database. April 29, 2010. Accessed
December 17, 2016. http://www.hmdb.org/Marker.asp?Marker=30209.