Today we begin a five part series on some of the historic churches here in Cleveland. Back on May 21, we talked about the Old Stone Church in our series on Public Square. Today we will venture across the river to Ohio City and St. John’s Episcopal Church.
St. John’s Episcopal is the oldest consecrated building in Cuyahoga County. Construction on the Gothic revival structure started in 1836, just after Ohio City was incorporated. The building was completed in 1838 and remained an active congregation until 2007. Today, Thursday evening gatherings are held at the church and the space is used for events, such as the current FRONT art exhibit.
Josiah Barber, the first mayor of Ohio City, donated the land for the church. The building was designed by Hezekiah Eldredge. The church was a stop on the underground railroad before people boarded boats to cross the lake to Canada. Wealthy industrialist, Senator from Ohio and Cleveland native, Marcus Hanna, married his wife Charlotte Rhodes in the church in 1864. Over the years the church has survived fire, lighting strikes and a tornado. It’s rich history and Gothic architecture makes it unique place to visit in Cleveland. It is located at 2600 Church Ave. in the Ohio City neighborhood.