Christ Cathedral is the Episcopal Cathedral for the Diocese of Western Kansas, serving as the official liturgical center for over two dozen congregations in the western half of Kansas. The building was constructed in memory of Hermon Griswold Batterson (1827-1903), a noted priest and author. The building was designed by Charles M. Burns (1838-1922) and Henry Macombe (1845-1933), prominent architects who completed dozens of historic buildings in and around Philadelphia. Built in 1906, Christ Cathedral was placed on the National Historic Register in 2010. The cathedral is built in the English Gothic style, characterized by its cruciform layout, pointed arches and the central tower.
Although Gothic architecture originally flourished in the late medieval era, many Anglican and Episcopal churches built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries adopted this style in response to an increasingly urban lifestyle. In a world where smokestacks and factories were replacing windmills and grain silos, people living in cities were increasingly deprived of places of beauty. The country church—complete with a graveyard and a spire—was no longer the physical and spiritual landmark of a community.
To compensate for this loss, Anglican and Episcopal congregations began building churches where the grandeur was located inside. The idea was that a church in the Anglican tradition was a public place, rather than a “members only” chapel. These architectural treasures were designed to be places where the people of a community, regardless of their religious affiliation, could gather to pray and worship, or simply come to enjoy something beautiful. A century after being build, Christ Cathedral continues this tradition and is offered to the greater glory of God and to the people of Salina, Kansas by the good will of God’s people.