Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

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Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

For the last three decades, Ennead’s ongoing work at The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine has included interior and exterior renovation as well as the transformation of the entire historical campus. The most recent project to be completed is the interior and exterior restoration of the copper dome.

Grounded in extensive research about the historical and technical issues related to the planning, design and construction of the Close, Ennead has worked closely with the leadership of the Cathedral to support their stewardship of the historic buildings and grounds of the Close. Through our research we have examined the shifting vision, layers of authorship and incremental construction which have evolved over more than a century into a rich and complex ensemble of buildings and landscape—today an architecturally unique and invaluable precinct in the City.

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The unfinished crossing consists of four gigantic arch-ribs of granite, braced by buttresses and piers. Enclosing nearly 16,000 square feet, the crossing is topped by self-centering dome that was designed by Rafael Guastavino. The dome and its supporting pendentives were covered with cement stucco.

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Located in Morningside Heights along with other prominent institutions such as Columbia University, Barnard College, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Manhattan School of Music, the Cathedral is part of what was conceived of as the “Acropolis of the New World”. The Cathedral occupies three city blocks between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive north of Cathedral Parkway (110th Street) and contains six landmarked historic structures in addition to the cathedral church itself – all of which Ennead has touched to some degree. Significant projects include the renovation and expansion of the collegiate gothic style K-8 Cathedral School and exterior renovation of the Diocesan House, a mixed-use office and residential building. Ennead works closely with the various stakeholders in the cathedral community as well as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to guide the preservation and revitalization of these buildings.

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2022 (Dome)
New York, NY
14,750 GSF (Crossing/Dome)


Ennead Project Team
Richard Olcott, V. Guy Maxwell, Kevin Seymour, Charles Brainerd, Darla Elsbernd, Sam Johnson
Robert Silman Associates, Building Conservation Associates, Inc. (BCA), James R. Gainfort Consulting Architects, P.C., Hypsometric
Demian Neufeld