A Letter from John Dowdle

For years I have driven through downtown St Paul at night and observed the Cathedral shrouded in shadows and wondered why such a magnificent landmark was not illuminated like the state capitol, or even the most basic office buildings. Maybe I’m just quirky (so my wife tells me), but it seems a shame to not have this artistic masterpiece, that represents so much of our history, lit against the night sky for all to see and enjoy. I yearned for years to see what it would look like fully illuminated. As many of you know, I found out just how beautiful it could be when I decided to temporarily light the Cathedral for two evenings as a part of the centennial celebration.

I think the reaction of the community, who came out by the hundreds to witness the awe of the illumination, says it all. The Cathedral fully lit at night was a truly magnificent sight. I am committed now, more than ever, to bring the gift of illumination to this artful landmark for all to enjoy, night after night.

People travel every day to Europe and other far away places to see grand structures and landmarks. The Cathedral of St Paul is one of the few structures in the United States that compare with the great historical structures in Europe, and it’s in our very own back yard.

The church carries the tremendous expense burden of restoring and maintaining the Cathedral willingly. Unfortunately, there are not the resources to provide nighttime lighting beyond the old and inadequate lighting that was built long ago. Our goal is to raise funds for lighting construction that specializes in conservation of historic buildings to preserve the intricacies of the stone structure.

Just as people of all faiths contributed towards the construction of this structure 200 years ago, I invite you to help us raise the funds to light the structure with the technology available today. Let’s light it properly so all can enjoy its beauty.

Please join in to bring this distinctive landmark out of the shadows, and into the spotlight.

Please make a donation today.


John A Dowdle, M.D.