Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
One of two cathedrals in the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, Saint Mark’s was built as a parish church on Hennepin Avenue in 1910. The church began in 1858 as a north Minneapolis mission of Gethsemane. in 1863 thirty-three yoke of oxen pulled the mission on sled runners to what was becoming the center of the city and Saint Mark’s was incorporated as a parish. In 1870 the parish built a new church which was occupied until 1908 when neighborhood around the church started to give way to commerce. The parish sold its land downtown after a parishioner offered to sell the church a portion of her Loring Park estate at a generous price. The new neo-Gothic Church designed by Edwin Hawley Hewitt was built on hilltop overlooking Loring Park and facing the city. It was designated a cathedral in 1941 when the bishop’s office moved to Minneapolis from the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour in Faribault. Composer Stanley R. Avery was choirmaster and organist at the Church from 1910 to 1950. In 1954 The cathedral hosted the first World Congress of the Anglican Communion to be held outside of the United Kingdom in 1954. The General Convention in Minneapolis which officially accepted the ordination of women as priests and adopted the current Book of Common Prayer used in the United States was held here in 1976. the church made history again in 2003 when the building hosted the General Convention at which the election of Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire was confirmed, making him the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay, noncelibate bishop. St. Mark’s celebrated their 150th anniversary as a parish church in 2008.