The History of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

St. Nicholas can trace its membership back to the turn of the century, when many of the first Greek immigrants made their way to Pittsburgh. Among them were men who were enlisted by the city’s early industrialists to paint the buildings and smokestacks of the iron and steel mills.

The present church building was purchased in 1923. It formerly housed a Congregational (Protestant) congregation.

The coincidence of the Ionian columns supporting the portico of the church pleased many of the young immigrants who thought it appropriate that a Greek church have a Greek facade.

Archbishop Iakovos in one of his many visits to the cathedral in later years, commented that no other Greek Orthodox Church in the United States had a comparable location, noting that the building is within blocks of many of Pittsburgh’s cultural, learning and health centers.

A World War II memorial that stands in front of the cathedral, attests to the large contribution of manpower the congregation made toward the war effort.

Pittsburgh was chosen as the seat of the Sixth Diocese in 1955 and St. Nicholas became a cathedral.

In 1961, the interior of St. Nicholas was remodeled and a new sanctuary, Mosaic Iconostasion, narthex and pews were installed for a total cost of $190,000.

The dream of a community center came true in 1977 when it was built at a cost of $890,000 and officially dedicated. The center comprises a large hall, 11 classrooms, a kitchen, offices, gym and parking lot.

With the completion of the community center, the cathedral’s food festivals, which had been confined to a small social hall, were expanded and held in the center’s spacious new hall.

In the past, we have had over 25,000 visitors attend The Annual St. Nicholas Food Festival, and hope to have many more in the years to come!