Historic Bronze Doors return to their rightful place at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The historic bronze doors that once welcomed thousands of members into the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, have been put back into their original place after they were removed a decade ago for refurbishing.

The Bismarck Cathedral was designed by architect William Kurke had also helped design North Dakota’s State Capitol. Construction was completed on the building in 1945, the original entrance doors were made of wood.

The 800-pound bronze doors were later commissioned to replace the wooden doors in 1964, and they would eventually become a prominent feature of the Cathedral.

Cheryl Streifel, Parish Secretary, said the historic doors symbolized the beginning of a union with her husband, Jim. “Getting married in such a beautiful space, we were excited as a couple to enter and exit those doors coming out of that sacrament, and coming into engage in that sacrament,” expressed Streifel.

The bronze doors would later lose their prominent position as they were moved to the new entrance of the cathedral’s addition in the 1990’s. The Streifels would be one of the last couples on Valentine’s Day in 1992, to walk through the doors at the Cathedral’s original entrance to exchange their wedding vows.

After the doors were moved to the cathedral addition, Very Reverend Joshua Ehli, Rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, says the doors began to show their age following several decades of daily use, “They got beaten up, scratched, and worn-down from people touching them,” he explained.

In 2014, the doors would close for the very last time and were finally removed from the Cathedral addition. Since then, Ehli said the doors were, “just sitting in a box in the garage waiting to be returned to their original glory.”

Ehli said that after being in storage for many years, the parish finally decided the bronze doors needed to be refurbished, “They shipped them to Minneapolis to have them professionally refinished and rebuilt from the inside, so that we could have them as they stand today, and hopefully for the rest of time,” he said.

For Steifel, it brings her joy to see the newly shined bronze doors back in their rightful place as the ceremonial doors they once were. “At the Parish, I directly work with weddings. I think I understand the joy and excitement that brings brides and grooms. We’ve had two weddings here since the bronze doors were reinstalled.”

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