Scenic USA - South Carolina

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

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Trinity Episcopal Cathedral - Columbia, South Carolina

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   It was not the first time the congregation Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Entrance - Columbia, South Carolina was moved for a building project, but a recent renovation prepared the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral for the 21st century and its Bicentennial in 2012. Designed in the late 1840s by South Carolina's favorite church architect, Edward Brickell White, the replacement church building was patterned after a Gothic Revival style. Famous for the Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston and Bluffton's Church of the Cross, White's design in the capital city of Columbia was called the only complete representation of Ecclesiastical Gothic in the South.
   Taking less than a year to complete, the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral was built of brick and covered in stucco. A common technique in the mid 1800s, the exterior plaster was stained, and then scored to resemble stone. Interior walls followed a similar process and were painted in gray granite. The cathedral's interior woodwork used heart pine, with its walls, ceilings and pews stained in a dark oak. The dark furniture was lightened with gilding, and highlighted with crimson velvet. Side aisles were separated by a series of decorative arches, supported by a cluster of columns.
   Because of its growing congregation, church officials started an expansion project in 1860. Unfortunately the renovation project was slowed by the Civil War and material shortages resulted in makeshift alterations. When rural populations sought refuge in the city during the war, the Trinity's Church population grew by a large percentage, although men were seldom present. Nearly a third of Columbia was burned during Sherman's March, but the Trinity was spared. Today, the church celebrates two hundred years of service, founded in 1812.

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