In January 1914 when our first church building was destroyed by fire, work began immediately on the present building. The cornerstone was laid in June 1915, with the first service held in the Sunday School auditorium Easter Sunday 1916 and the sanctuary dedicated June 1916.
The building contains a number of very interesting features which are integral to the design of the building. The seating area of the sanctuary is in the design of a Greek cross which has all arms of equal length. The centrepiece of the sanctuary is the chandelier, also in the shape of a Greek cross, suspended from the 55 foot high dome.
At construction the church was supplied with electric service. It was reported that people were pleased with the electric light fixtures and quite taken with the large central chandelier. All of the lighting fixtures in the sanctuary are original to the construction. These fixtures were supplied by the Murray-Kay Lighting Company of Ontario, at a cost of $1896.97. An electrical contractor, Mr. W. C. Winsborrow of St. John’s, installed both the electrical service and the fixtures.
The chandelier is suspended on a rod which extends into the dome space where it is secured by roping. It can be lowered to the mid-point or thereabouts of the sanctuary space. The chandelier holds 100 bulbs and has an estimated weight of 800-900 pounds.
The drawings and specifications for the light fixtures, including the chandelier, prepared by the architects of the building, Ross and MacDonald of Montreal, are safely stored in the church archives.
The dome, the pillars, the barrel vaults, the stained glass, the intricate design of the woodwork are all very striking features when one walks from the unassuming exterior of the building into the soaring space of the sanctuary, but the chandelier is the magnificent centrepiece of the church.
Cochrane Street United Church Archives March 2014