#ThursdayDoors — Christ Church Cathedral

Also known as the church on the circle, or the little church on the circle



Opened May 1859, Gothic Revival, Episcopalian

To me, this building is notable because they host the annual Strawberry Festival every June since 1965. Although as far back as 1857, this church was raising funds with strawberries, it’s long been an essential summer event.

It was hard to get that spire…


Here’s a photo from Historic Indianapolis, which captures the detail of the spire:


This church also has some very impressive professional choirs who perform not just for the Indianapolis Symphony, but internationally as well.


The church on the circle is prime real estate — Β its land much coveted. It’s been rumored that when a local bank wanted to buy it, Eli Lilly, philanthropist and member said, “I’ll buy that bank before I let them tear down my church.”
(And the Thursday Door Crowd nods vehemently.)


I think the doors are impressive from the walk, but upon closer inspection, they’re one of my favorites — doors within doors!



#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link and find the frog.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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53 Responses to #ThursdayDoors — Christ Church Cathedral

  1. Tearing things down to put up office buildings isn’t the only thing that gives land value, but it’s a good thing people back then built these churches in the cities – it would be hard to go the other way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • joey says:

      You’re right about that! We’re losing grand churches right and left. I’ve encountered many repurposed churches, and it pleases me they’re kept on in some fashion.


      • Some make lovely little theaters. I would prefer they remain houses of worship – we need all the help from God we can get these days – but old buildings can be very expensive to maintain, heat, and aircondition – and their natural congregations can often not afford to live close enough. Some of the rich ‘congregations’ shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves churches.

        Maybe we all need to go back to the catacombs.


  2. Benson says:

    Beautiful doors on a lovely building. Many years ago one of my oldest and dearest friends was ordained in that church. Great memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Eli Lilly had the right idea! It’s a gorgeous building, and so it or was the building next door…speaking about the historical image you shared.

    I love, love, love that green spire! Yes, I love green, and that shade on roofs just melts my heart and I swoon.
    The stained glass windows look gorgeous. I’d love to see those when the sun hits them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. orbthefirst says:

    Cute place. I like how its offset by huge office buildings. It gives it a real feel of fire & brimstone religion. Dig those windows too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s great to see the contrast between the old photo and yours, with the modern buildings surrounding the old church. I like that it still has a connection with strawberries, that’s nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Those are pretty doors on an interesting little church. I love how it has survived over the years. And the whole strawberry connection makes it even sweeter. [pun intended]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joanne Sisco says:

    That ‘little’ church isn’t quite so little … it just looks small now compared to the other buildings around it. I couldn’t help but notice the Bank of Montreal logo on the building to the right in the first photo. Those damn Canadians are everywhere πŸ˜‰

    Great choice of doors within doors πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Susi Lovell says:

    Love the effect of the spire against the block behind it. Shows the church may be dwarfed but it’s not giving up, it’s still trying to – ahem – aspire!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan Antion says:

    And now I like Eli Lilly a little bit more.

    What a beautiful building. We have a similar Episcopal Cathedral in Hartford, occupying a similarly valuable piece of property. I hope they can both survive the periodic storms of developers that roll through.

    Stone, wood, arches, awe-inspiring peaks and windows drawing your gaze up to the heavens – it’s too beautiful for words. And strawberries? Who doesn’t love that? Great job, Joey!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. bikerchick57 says:

    Eli Lilly was an honorable man and, yes, I am nodding my head. I never like to see a church taken down for any reason. Refurbish or re-purpose it if you must, but please don’t tear it down! Thanks for sharing photos of this church. It’s a beauty!

    PS: Have they had the strawberry festival yet? How many quarts of strawberries have you eaten so far?

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Strawberry Festival runs mid-June, Thursday to Saturday, and yes, we already had it. I didn’t get to go this year. Usually it’s a $10 shortcake big enough for two πŸ™‚
      I buy my berries at Aldi or the stand in front of the bakery πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful church, Joey. Those doors within doors are impressive as is the spire, and well, everything about it really! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a treasure! So glad this beautiful church wasn’t torn down in order to build something modern. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. jesh stg says:

    Some beautiful doors, Joey! Neat that you also got a hold of the historic drawing. Always wished when I see a high rise right behind or next to a steeple, that the architects (or the city council) had some more sense of decorum.
    On another subject, as the week progresses, I get often more forgetful about answering my comments, so if I didn’t answer them all, my apology!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A+. Beautiful church, gorgeous doors, and an amazing story to go with it. Love this little church with its strawberry history.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love your door posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful, and I love that it holds out in the face of commerce.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Norm 2.0 says:

    *Nodding vehemently with the rest of the crowd* Thank you Mr. Lilly.
    There’s a few smaller old churches around town here, surround by tall buildings. I’m sure there’s 15 developers a week that drool over the thought of knocking them down to build another office or condo tower.
    Interestingly small (non) foyer between the two sets of double doors. Probably a space saving design?
    Oh and the stained glass looks awesome. Nice shots Joey πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I read once that the little vestibules were designed to keep out the cold. I have no idea if it’s true.
      I sure am glad you like it, and glad it still stands. Thanks, Norm πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  18. JT Twissel says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how those old churches survive all the modernization around them and keep their elegance?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. loisajay says:

    There is something so sacred about these old churches. So glad the bank was not able to purchase the land. We don’t need another damn strip mall or parking lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. pluviolover says:

    I like old churches for the architecture and history. This brings to mind Trinity Church Wall Street, NYC. My fried was a Vestryman (also Episcopalian) for the 250-year-old church which played a major role as a shelter during the 9/11 catastrophe. It too, has a remarkable history. I looked, but couldn’t find any good door pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. JoAnna says:

    Impressive! I love the trees and that this church has withstood the surrounding giants of so called, “progress.” It’s kinda miraculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. marianallen says:

    I love those doors within doors!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I do love those doors within doors and that beautiful spire. It’s interesting that it looks so tiny when dwarfed by the modern buildings since you can see in the historic photo that I’m sure it was quite impressive in stature in its time. I do love a stained glass window too! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I say hurrah for Eli!! I love stone buildings and this one is a beauty.



  25. reocochran says:

    I love this gorgeous church and the black (dark gray?) Doors the best! The steeple is stunning and I live your perspective shots, Joey.

    Liked by 1 person

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