The original dream of a great cathedral in Spokane came to The Right Reverend Edward Makin Cross in 1924, shortly after he arrived to be the new missionary bishop. Together with architect Harold C. Whitehouse, the Bishop began to plan for a gothic cathedral atop the hill. The dream became reality within the lifetime of Bishop Cross, the only time known that a major cathedral has been mostly completed within the lifetime of the founding bishop.
The Cathedral has classical Gothic architecture with a strong French influence. The structure is solid masonry with exterior stone quarried near Tacoma, Washington; the interior of the nave is of sandstone from Idaho, and the remainder of the interior is of Indiana limestone. No structural wood or steel were used.
Construction began in 1925, with the dedication of the first section of the church on October 20, 1929, but construction lagged during the Great Depression and World War II. Starting again in 1948, gradually more sections were added. By 1961, the building assumed its present form. For more information about the architecture, see this document.
Mr. Harold C. Whitehouse, F.A.I.A., of the Spokane firm of Whitehouse and Price, and a member of the congregation, was the architect from the beginning. Fred Phair of Spokane was the master builder of the entrance, the nave, and the base of the tower (1925 to 1929). The Spokane firm of Henry George and Sons built the chancel, sanctuary, tower and transepts (1948 to 1954). Jewett House, the working space of the Cathedral, was built by Sceva Construction of Spokane (1960 to 1961).
Dimensions of the Cathedral
Total length: 257 feet, 9 inches
Full interior width: 50 feet, 2 inches
Width across transepts: 125 feet
Interior height of crossing: 92 feet
Height of nave: 80 feet
Height of tower from nave floor: 167 feet, 9 inches
Full seating capacity: about 1,000 persons