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Cathedral of St. John (Providence, Rhode Island)

Cathedral of St. John (Providence, Rhode Island)

271 N Main St, Providence (RI), 02903, United States

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(401) 274-4500

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Description The Cathedral of St. John, located at 271 North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island was formerly the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island of The Episcopal Church. The church closed in 2012 due to declining membership. Currently, the church is being repaired and renovated to become a "museum and reconciliation center" focusing on the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It is expected to open sometime in 2017.History of the parishThe parish was originally organized in 1722 as King's Church, a wooden structure that was renamed St John's Church in 1794. That building served Providence until 1810 when work began on what would become the Cathedral of St. John. The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island was formed in 1790, but it was not until 1929 that St John's Church was designated the Episcopal seat and was renamed the Cathedral of St. John.The buildingThe cornerstone for St. John's Church was laid in 1810 and the church was dedicated in 1811. The building was designed by Federal-era architect John Holden Greene, who designed many buildings in Providence. A Cathedral corporation was formed in 1909 and in 1929, the church was designated the Episcopal seat. The building was renovated in 1855, 1866, 1906, and 1967, and still retains its architectural integrity, but is in a state of deterioration. It was listed on the Providence Preservation Society 10 Most Endangered Properties List in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Citing dwindling membership and costs associated with upkeep, the diocese closed the church in 2012.Slavery museumIn November 2014, the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island announced it was interested in using part of the cathedral for a museum that would examine the state’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, both those who profited from it and those who opposed it. The "museum and reconciliation center" is expected be the first museum in the United States to focus on the history of slavery in New England. It will also document the role of the Episcopal Church in the tr

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