Best Building - 2012
Cathedral of St. Paul
You don't have to be Catholic, or even religious, to appreciate the Cathedral of St. Paul. The magnificent stone edifice, with its great copper-clad dome, overlooks the city of St. Paul from its perch on Summit Hill with an angelic grace, a testament to, at the very least, human engineering and perseverance. Modeled after the great cathedrals of Europe, it was begun in 1907 but wasn't completed for another 50 years. The true grandeur of the church, however, lies inside its doors. Stepping into the great echoing vault of the main sanctuary, bathed in an ethereal natural light from the vast dome (which rises spectacularly 300 feet overhead), and by the warmth of its remarkable stained glass windows, can be a breathtaking experience. Within this ornate, sacred space, one can sense an unmistakable spiritual presence. Maybe it's God, or maybe just our human yearning for transcendence, but it's a presence worth getting in touch with now and again.