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Cathedral of the Holy Cross

Boston, MA

    Project Overview

    Built over 150 years ago in Boston’s South End neighborhood, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England.

    The iconic building is constructed of Roxbury puddingstone with grey limestone trim and stands at a stately 120 feet. Able to accommodate 2,000 visitors, this historic building serves a diverse population. While it represents a place of worship, it also provides important resources to the local community, such as a food pantry, free health services, a children’s summer camp, an off-site shelter for victims of human trafficking, and support for homeless individuals and families. The renovation work, led by Suffolk in collaboration with Elkus Manfredi Architects, updated the historic 1875 Gothic Revival Cathedral while preserving the space’s historical significance.

    The updates included replacing the oak floor with granite and marble, restoring the pews, building a new altar, and providing handicap accessibility. Other upgrades included new sprinkler and fire protection systems, LED interior and exterior lighting to illuminate the stained-glass windows at night (as well as transform the interior environment), air conditioning, and a new digital sound system.

    The renovation transformed the Cathedral into a functional, modern space while maintaining its legacy for generations to come. The Cathedral won a Gold International Design Award (IDA), recognizing the project’s interior design for a religious building. As with any project of historical significance located in a congested neighborhood, the Cathedral project was not without its challenges. However, the Suffolk team was adept at providing thoughtful and collaborative solutions to logistical and sensitive issues including concerns from project stakeholders and abutting neighbors, Historical Commission requirements and preferences, not to mention daily religious services held within the iconic space.

    Moreover, the team was also able to provide the owner with innovative solutions to incorporate all facets of the religious and support services the Cathedral provides to both the Catholic and local communities.

    • Non-Profit icon
      Sectors Non-Profit
    • owner icon
      Owner Archdiocese of Boston
    • architect icon
      Architect Elkus Manfredi Architects
    • square icon
      Square Feet 38,000
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      Our Work in Action: Cathedral of the Holy Cross

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