Medieval roofing

Midland Engineering revives The Cathedral of St. Paul's Neo-Gothic design

The Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, Ala., originally was a 30- by 60-foot wooden frame building built in 1872. In January 1880, land on an adjacent lot was purchased, and in May the same year, a rectory was built and the church was moved and enlarged on the new property. The cornerstone was laid June 11, 1890, and the new building was dedicated Nov. 30, 1893; it cost $90,000 to construct.

The cathedral is widely considered a picturesque example of American Neo-Gothic style. Its strong contrast of red brick and white limestone and polychromatic banding in the slate roof reflect the international Gothic Revival mood of the 1870s. The exterior now measures 96 by 140 feet and encompasses 60,000 square feet with twin octagon spires rising 183 feet.

In 1955, the church was extensively renovated and air conditioning was installed. In 1972, the church underwent structural repairs, and the sanctuary was remodeled. In 1992, exterior and interior ramps and doors were added to provide access for all to the church. And in 2013-14, the roof system was renovated by Midland Engineering Co. Inc., South Bend, Ind.

Replicating history