The Cathedral: Chronology

Original Plan

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Tennessee Williams is honored with an evensong service incorporating readings from his dramatic works and other writings. A special performance of Godspell draws thousands. The show's creator, John-Michael Tebelak, later becomes the Cathedral's dramaturge. Solemn requiem for poet W.H. Auden. The Cathedral School becomes co-educational. Creation of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board to support innovative solutions to New York's housing crisis. UHAB promotes the idea of "sweat equity" whereby residents of run-down, city-owned apartment buildings become owners and operators by rehabilitating them. Now operating independently of the Cathedral, UHAB has participated in the rehabilitation of 1,300 buildings which are home to 27,000 families.

Duke Ellington's funeral is attended by jazz luminaries and 12,500 mourners. A community recycling center is opened on the Cathedral Close, in the spirit of "think globally, act locally."

Omega Dance Company, a pioneer in liturgical dance, becomes an artist-in-residence. The multicultural Symphony for the United Nations debuts under the baton of Joseph Eger.

Bishop Moore preaches a headline-making Easter sermon in which he challenges corporations to keep their operations in New York rather than join others who have fled to other states, thus worsening the city's fiscal crisis. In this context, the decision is made to resume construction of the Cathedral as an outward and visible sign of the church's commitment to the city's future. Dedication of the clerestory window in the Sports Bay completes the installation of the Cathedral's stained glass. Poet Muriel Rukeyser creates a Poetry Wall. The wall still accepts and exhibits any and all poems that are submitted. Sitarist Ravi Shankar performs an all-night concert of ragas.

The fledgling Big Apple Circus takes up residence at the Cathedral, rehearsing in Synod House. The Ensemble for Early Music becomes an artist-in-residence. Firefighters Memorial dedicated and installed in the Labor Bay of the nave. James Earl Jones performs the title role in Sophocles' Oedipus the King, presented in the Crossing.

Dedication of the memorial to victims of the Holocaust by Elliott Offner. Dean Morton announces plans to revive construction of the Cathedral as a community-based project. Local youth are recruited as apprentice stonecutters for the newly-opened stoneyard on the north field. First ordination of female priests at the Cathedral takes place several months after the General Convention of the Episcopal Church approves the ordination of women. One ordinand, Mary Michael Simpson, later becomes a canon of the Cathedral, the first female cathedral canon in the history of Christianity.

Based on information from the Cathedral's Web Page