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Charlotte Snapshot: The Cathedral of Saint Patrick

posted by Cassie Townsend March 17, 2017
present day photo of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Charlotte, North Carolina next to a black and white photo of the same church from its early days.
The Cathedral of Saint Patrick on Dilworth Road was consecrated in 1939 and still stands today, more than 75 years later. Photo by The Cathedral of Saint Patrick and The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room – Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Green beer and shamrocks aren’t the only thing to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day. One of Charlotte’s architectural gems, The Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Dilworth, has its history intertwined with the Irish holiday. The original location’s cornerstone was laid on St. Patrick’s Day 1852 in Mount Holly, North Carolina, just west of Charlotte. The current cathedral’s construction in Dilworth began in 1939 after it was evident that another church was necessary to accommodate the rapidly growing Catholic population in the region.

The design and construction of the church was led by Austrian architect Frank Frimmer, who was known for his restorations and overhaul of famous “Old World” churches around the world. The cathedral was built in that same model, complete with a gray stucco facade, a nave that seated 400, a beautiful balcony and a 77-foot-tall tower.

The cathedral has experienced several rounds of renovations since its initial construction in the 1930s, including most recently in 2007, when a 700-pound bell was added to the tower.

In 2014, the parish celebrated its 75th anniversary. Today, the Cathedral of Saint Patrick is home to more than 700 parishioners and is a prominent building in the heart of Dilworth. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Charlotte.

This article was originally written by Abby Blanton for the WInter 2016 issue of Charlotte Happenings magazine. Updates by Cassie Townsend.

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