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Translating the gothic tradition: St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne

conference contribution
posted on 2014-08-07, 00:00 authored by Ursula De JongUrsula De Jong
During the 1850s, England and France were the leading centres of debate over the Gothic Revival. As Barry Bergdoll argues, the issues that loomed large were at once architectural and political: stylistic eclecticism versus national purity, invention versus tradition, nationalism versus cosmopolitanism, as well as the challenge of new building programmes and new materials to the historicist logic of the Gothic Revival position. William Wilkinson Wardell (1823-99), the architect of St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (1858-97) found himself in the midst of this debate. ln.,1858, Wardell's client, James Alipius Goold, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Melbourne, found that local circumstances significantly influenced his aspirations for a new Catholic cathedral for Melbourne. The choices Wardell made eventually gave shape to the Gothic Revival in Australia.

The New World perhaps echoing Didron, demanded of the past all it could offer the present and especially the future: a Gothic cathedral was deemed a fitting carrier of the principles, morals, beliefs and spirit of a Christian civilisation. Unlike many of his contemporaries in Britain and Europe, Wardell in Australia was to see his Gothic Cathedrals of St Patrick's and St Mary's substantially realised in his lifetime. This paper presents a building history of Wardell's St Patrick's, Melbourne, and critically examines the translations which are embedded in the design and fabric of this nineteenth-century Gothic revival cathedral.

History

Event

Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand. Conference (31st : 2014 : Auckland, New Zealand)

Pagination

723 - 734

Publisher

SAHANZ and Unitec ePress

Location

Auckland, New Zealand

Place of publication

[Auckland, New Zealand]

Start date

2014-07-02

End date

2014-07-05

ISBN-13

9781927214121

Language

eng

Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2014, SAHANZ and Unitec ePress

Editor/Contributor(s)

[Unknown]

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 31, Translation

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