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"Cathedral Square" Adopted as Name for Area Surrounding Covington Basilica

The City of Covington officially adopted a new name for the blocks surrounding its iconic Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.

"Cathedral Square" is the new name for a couple of blocks along Madison Avenue at 11th and 12th streets (12th Street is also known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.).

The cathedral is known for its large stained glass windows, gargoyles, and chimeras. It is modeled after the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

To acknowledge “an art and architectural gem that will be treasured for centuries,” the City of Covington has adopted the new name in honor of the cathedral, home to St. Mary’s Parish, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

The designation applies to the blocks as they stretch to Scott Blvd. to the east.

In addition to the Basilica, the area includes 79-year-old Covington Latin School, the Cathedral Lyceum (which houses the Diocesan offices), the Parish Office of the Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Park.

Books have been written about the Basilica’s construction, history, and architectural complexities, but here are a few facts from its website and other places:

  • Ground was broken in 1894 and the stop-and-start construction ended for all practical purposes in 1915.
  • “Basilica” isn’t a generic name but an exalted status gained because of a building’s age, dignity, historical importance, and/or significance as a center of worship. There are only four “major” basilicas in the world, all in Rome. The Covington church is one of 89 “minor” basilicas in the United States and the 8th to gain such status, back in 1953. St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati was the 89th to gain that status, in June of this year.
  • The Covington Basilica’s architectural design is Gothic, boasting an internal ribbed (or groin) vault tying together an array of arches and a twin-towered external design. The church contains 82 stained-glass windows, including the stunning 67-foot by 24-foot window at the north transept.

-Staff report

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