St. James Catholic Cathedral


Dublin Core


St. James Catholic Cathedral

Alternative Title

St. James Catholic Cathedral


Orlando (Fla.)
Cathedrals--United States
Catholic Church--Florida


St. James Catholic Cathedral, located at 215 North Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando, Florida, around 1940. In 1881, Bishop John Moore (b. ca. 1834-1901) purchased a block of land bound by Orange Avenue, Magnolia Avenue, Jefferson Street, and Robinson Street. On January 23, 1887, the cornerstone of the Holy Nativity Catholic Church was set under the leadership of Father Felix P. Swembergh (d. 1887). The building was designed by Kurz and Allison's Art Studio of Chicago in the American Gothic-style and was completed in June of 1891, under the guidance of Father Joseph J. Creed, who replaced Father Swembergh after his death in October 1887. It was renamed as St. James Catholic Church the following year.

In 1889, a storm destroyed the church's roof and the City of Orlando condemned the building. The church was rebuilt in 1889 in the old Carpenter Gothic-style and seated 240. The church also had a school, St. Joseph's Academy, built in 1889. The school site is now where the Downtown Orlando Post Office is located. The building was torn down around 1950 and the new building, designed by Donovan Dean and Arthur White, was completed on January 20, 1952. In 1977, the building was designated as the diocese's cathedral due to the destruction of the St. Charles Borromeo Cathedral by fire. In July of 2009, the cathedral was closed for renovations and was re-dedicated on November 20, 2010.


Original black and white photograph: Orlando Remembered Exhibit, Regions Bank, Orlando, Florida.

Date Created

ca. 1940

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original black and white photograph.

Is Part Of

Orlando Remembered Exhibit, Regions Bank, Orlando, Florida.
Orlando Remembered Collection, Orlando Collection, Orange County Collection. RICHES of Central Florida.




90.9 KB


1 black and white photograph


Still Image


St. James Catholic Cathedral, Downtown Orlando, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Geography Teacher

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by the Orange County Regional History Center and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project


Williams, Rachel
Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Bacon, Eve. Orlando: A Centennial History. Chuluota, Fla: Mickler House, 1975.
Rajtar, Steve. A Guide to Historic Orlando. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2006.. "About Us." St. James Catholic Cathedral.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 black and white photograph


“St. James Catholic Cathedral,” RICHES, accessed May 27, 2024,