“Save this building because it is a Pittsburgh landmark. It would be a waste to destroy it.” —student quote
- 109 South 7th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
- Date and Style
- Built in1895 and enlarged in 1917
- —Byzantine style
- Churches designed in the Byzantine style have distinctively-shaped domes and the Greek cross.
Byzantine architecture combines elements from Greek, Roman, and Islamic styles. Istanbul, a
city in Turkey, was once called Byzantium.
- Facts and Stories Worth Knowing
- Many Ukrainians came to Pittsburgh in the 1880s, and many thousands more came in the following decades to work in the South Side steel mills, factories, and mines.
- St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church was founded in 1891 and is considered to be the first and oldest Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite, meaning that it is part of the eastern Christian Church in countries like Greece and Turkey.
- In 1891, St. John's congregation purchased a wooden frame hall that stood on the site belonging to the Grace Evangelical English Lutheran Church.
- In 1895, St. John's replaced the wooden structure with a brick church, which was enlarged in 1917 to its present size.
- St. John's is often pictured in photographs of the city because its eight “onion” domes are a fantastic contrast to the sloping roofs of South Side houses and towering skyscrapers of downtown Pittsburgh.
- This church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so it is one of the nation's important architectural landmarks.
- It has a Historic Landmark plaque from the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, so it is a famous local building too.
- On March 1, 2012, St. John's was awarded a $9,000 matching grant from the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation's Historic Religious Properties Program for roof and chimney repairs. For more information on PHLF's Historic Religious Properties Program, click here.
- Parishioners meet every week in the basement of the church to make pyrohy: dumplings filled with potato, cheese, or sauerkraut. They sell their pyrohy to businesses and families throughout the Pittsburgh region to raise funds for their church. Pyrohy are made from September to May. If interested in helping or purchasing, visit St. John's website.