1. Sacred Destinations
  2. USA
  3. Seattle
  4. St. Mark's Cathedral

St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle

Photo © sea turtle. View all images in our St. Mark's Cathedral Photo Gallery.
Photo © Aamer Akhter.
Photo © immolation scene.
Photo © Wade Rockett.
Photo © Dean Forbes.

St. Mark's Cathedral, a fortress-like Episcopal cathedral affectionately dubbed "the Holy Box," dominates the Seattle skyline from the west side of Lake Union. The cathedral is the home of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia.


St. Mark's Cathedral had a bit of a rocky start. Construction was still incomplete when the cathedral was dedicated in 1931 and the design was a bit of a disappointment to some. The Great Depression had forced a downgrade from the grand original plans of drawn up in 1926.

Another disappointment came when, only a decade after its completion, St. Mark's defaulted on its mortgage, the bank foreclosed on the church, and the United States Army Artillery moved in for two years.

The story has a happy ending, though: the congregation eventually regained its home through fundraising efforts, and on Palm Sunday of 1947, the paid mortgage was ceremonially burned before the altar.

What to See

St. Mark's Cathedral is located at the top of a steep cliff above Lakeview Boulevard E, from which there are beautiful views. The wooded hillside is known as the St. Mark's Greenbelt.

The exterior is heavy and fortress-like, with a large rose window in the east end. Inside, the rose window casts colors on the floor throughout the day. The spare lines and openness of the interior are unusual and memorable.

A small gift shop, in a little house across the parking lot from the cathedral, sells books, music and gifts.

Quick Facts on St. Mark's Cathedral

Site Information
Names:St. Mark's Cathedral; St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle; St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
Faiths:Christianity; Anglican
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Seattle, Washington, USA
Coordinates:47.631917° N, 122.321177° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of St. Mark's Cathedral

Below is a location map and aerial view of St. Mark's Cathedral. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral - official website
  2. Cathedral Shop at St. Mark's - official website
  3. wGuides

More Information

Article Info

Title:St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:11/19/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/usa/seattle-st-marks-cathedral">St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle</a>