Sacred Heart Cathedral was recognized by the Prince George Heritage Commission for nearly 90 years of history.
On Saturday the commission presented the cathedral with the Heritage Citation Historic Places Award for 2014 in a ceremony at The Exploration Place. Sacred Heart Cathedral, located on Patricia Boulevard, was orginally consecrated as a parish church on Christmas Eve in 1924.
"The parish Sacred Heart has been there nine decades in that spot," local historian Valerie Giles said. "There has been two churches on that site."
The current building was consecrated in 1961 and rededicated as a cathedral in 1968, Giles said in a written statement.
Bishop Stephen Jensen said award is a recognition of the people who built the church and made it a part of the community and their lives.
"This is a wonderful initiative, and we need it more now than ever," Jensen said. "People of the faith have always had the impulse to act... to make the world more just... The history of our diocese in Prince George shows that. People of faith saw a need and took action."
Despite having more access to historic information and more ability to document history through electronic media, Jensen said, people today "know less of our history... than it used to be."
One of the accomplishments of the Sacred Heart diocese was the creation of a credit union to provide loans and mortages to people who needed access to them, he said. That credit union has since become Spruce Capital Credit Union and continues to operate today.
Retired architect Trelle Morrow, who designed the current cathedral, said the cathedral is an example of the changes happening in building design during the 1950s and '60s.
"In the 1950s we were going through an architectural revolution. Its the ideas that really were important in church work," he said. "In Sacred Heart we went with a vertical theme. That's why it is 60 feet high inside."
Morrow said the committee he was working with at the time also felt it was important to use local materials - to put an emphasis on wood construction. The prominent use of wood has returned as a building theme, he said, and modern architects should look at the work he and his contemporaries were doing 50 to 60 years ago.
"What it does is express how we were thinking in the 1950s and '60s," Morrow said. "Most of the churches in Prince George were built in [that time.] I was fortunate to be part of that."
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