Cathedral History

The Cathedral is designed in an austere German style known as Zopfstil. Since the laying of the cornerstone December 5, 1847, the exterior appearance has changed very little except for the present tower, which was constructed in 1893, and the expansion of the east end of the building, which was added during the rebuilding of the Cathedral after the fire that partially destroyed the church on January 29, 1935.

The Cathedral was rededicated on February 9, 2002 after a complete restoration and renewal of the interior and exterior to maintain its beauty and elegance. Architects and artists have acclaimed the Cathedral and its magnificent tower as one of the most admired pieces of architecture in Milwaukee and have created many fine etchings, a tribute to its beauty. The Cathedral has been designated a Milwaukee landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historical Places. You can also learn more about the history of the Cathedral, please visit the "Encyclopedia of Milwaukee".

Themes of Cathedral History

Fr. Steve Avella authored several articles about the history of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. These were published in the bulletin, but we are now making them available on our web page in case you missed them the first time.

Fr. Steve is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a faculty member in the Department of History at Marquette University and the author of many articles and books, including the archdiocesan histories. He is also a very good friend of the Cathedral! Our Cathedral has a rich and inspiring, and sometimes surprising, history!

We are so grateful to Fr. Steve for studying and compiling our Cathedral archives in this informative and exceptional manner!