Then & Now
The Cathedral Room was formerly St. John's Episcopal Church that was incorporated in 1868 as an outgrowth of St. Peter's Episopal Church in downtown Auburn. In 1868 General John H. Chedell, a prominent figure in Auburn history, donated the one acre lot at the corner of East Genesee Street and Fulton Street to serve the growing east end community. By 1869 a wooden church had been erected at a cost of $800.00.
Upon Chedell's death, he bequeathed $10,000 to the parish to build a new church edifice (shown above) that was designed by George Casey, esq. At the time, the total estimated cost of the church was $14,500 and furnished for an additional $600.00 The first service was held there September 5th, 1881. In 1955 the parish grew, and built an addition to the Church that was used as a parish hall and Sunday school.
As funds and parishioners declined, the parish of St. John's went back to their roots and reunited with the parishioners at St. Peter's. Selling the Gothic church to Cayuga Seneca ARC who utilized both the church and attached school (now The Center ) for their dayhab programs.
In 2006, The church and school was purchased by Mary Anne Giacona. Breathing new life to the facility, Giacona totally renovated the school into a beautiful holistic center and spa that also hosts events in their Gathering Room. The attached church, while much in tact was hidden with dropped ceilings and temporary walls. Giacona began restoration in 2013, revealing the original vaulted ceiling, lighting, corbels, mahogany wall panels with quatrafoils and stained glass rose windows. Now, the former church is reminiscently known as "Chedell's Cathedral Room" or simply "The Cathedral Room", and is used as a multi-use venue that hosts ceremonies, receptions, rights of passage and many community programs.