The Cathedral of the Holy Cross, by Elkus Manfredi Architects
This project was selected as an honorary winner in the 2022 ARCHITECT Architecture & Interiors Awards, Architecture: Historic Preservation category.
“The finest designers and builders of their time originally created the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The love, respect and skill it takes to preserve such a structure shows the nobility of the design profession. — Juror Joey Shimoda, FAIA
Boston’s Holy Cross Cathedral is the largest Catholic church in New England. The complete renovation and remodeling of the neo-Gothic monument designed by Patrick Keely in 1875 in the south of the city by local architects Elkus Manfredi reimagines the previously dark and ominous interior of the structure as a beacon of light for the large Catholic community of Boston as the church nears its sesquicentennial.
Since the original drawings of the church have been lost, the architects used detailed laser scans to create a new 3D digital model of the building. New interior finishes have maintained the qualities of light and permanence, including new white and light gray marble floors throughout. The nave was reconfigured for greater accessibility while maintaining the overall seating capacity of 1,900, and the sanctuary was redesigned to remove elements from an overcrowded 1980s renovation. The architects designed a new family of appointments you liturgical and furnishings, including joinery and works of art, for the church.
The wooden trusses carrying the ceiling have been cleaned and sealed, with a front edge treatment of maroon paint replaced with shiny metallic gold that emphasizes the original details of the church. New M/E/P systems, including energy-efficient lighting, air conditioning, AV, broadcast and television, have been seamlessly integrated into the building.
Project: Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston
Client/Owner: Archdiocese of Boston
Architects: Elkus Manfredi Architects, Boston. David P. Manfredi, FAIA, LEEP AP – Principal Officer; John Mitchell – Partner, Project Manager; Cathy Naughton, AIA, LEED AP – Senior Associate, Lead Designer/Project Architect; Michael Haggerty, AIA – Construction Administration Coordinator; Brittany Locke, AIA, Well AP, Fitwel – Project Designer; Mark Naher – visualization artist; Marco Anciano – Visualization Artist
Official architect: Elkus Manfredi Architects
Construction Manager / Owner’s Project Manager: Suffolk
Interior designer: Elkus Manfredi Architects
Liturgical Consultant: Baker Liturgical Art, LLC
Structural Engineer: MacNamara Salvia Structural Engineers
M/E/P Engineer: WSP
Civil engineer: VHB
Acoustics & Audiovisual: Acentech
Stained Glass Conservator: Lyn Hovey Studio, Inc.
Code: Jenson Hughes
Architectural Art Restoration: Ever Green Architectural Arts
Lighting Designer: HDLC Architectural Lighting
Total area of the cathedral: approximately 61,600 square feet
Total area of the Elkus Manfredi renovation: approximately 35,000 square feet
- Stone tiles for the floor of the nave: “Aquasol” honed quartzite, supplied by East Coast Interiors
- Sanctuary platform floor, stone tiles and dimensional stone steps: checkerboard of “Gioia Venatino” (white) and “Danube” (light gray) marbles with “Gioia Venatino” dimensional stone steps, provided by Stone Source , Boston.
- Floor leveling and tile underlayment products supplied by Laticrete.
- Interior and exterior LED accent lights provided by Lumenpulse and Amerlux.
- Interior wall paint provided by Benjamin Moore.
- Polished brass handrails and candlesticks at the inner sanctum: Julius Blum and Co.
- Interior wrought iron railings: Julius Blum et Cie.
- Decorative metal grille for radiator covers, floor returns and wall diffusers: Advanced Architectural Grille
- Polyolefin Knee Upholstery Fabric: Sherpa & Shire