Old Stone Church

The oldest building in Cleveland’s town center features impressive stained glass windows, a towering steeple and fascinating history. 

Make your way to Cleveland’s Public Square and visit Old Stone Church, officially called the First Presbyterian Church. Admire the tall, needle-like steeple and the Romanesque structure of the exterior before heading inside to see the spectacular Sanctuary area and the light filtering in through the stained glass windows. Attend a service on a Sunday or come at a quieter time to enjoy the building’s peaceful atmosphere. 

Old Stone Church was first built in 1834, but due to Cleveland’s rapidly expanding population it was rebuilt in 1855. Two fires, in 1857 and 1884, severely damaged the structure. Two renovations later it is still standing tall and it is now the oldest building in Cleveland’s town center. The church remains an important focal point for many civic and religious occasions in the town.

You’ll see the high steeple long before you reach the church as its tall, thin shape is a prominent feature of the Cleveland skyline. Take some time to admire the simple shapes carved around the windows, which are a typical feature of the Victorian Romanesque style. 

Note the shades of yellow and gray in the sandstone bricks. The building was originally called the Stone Church, but the graying effect of time on the sandstone soon prompted locals to add the “Old” into the name. 

Step inside to admire the grandeur of the Sanctuary. Golden oak paneling lines the ceilings while several stained glass windows pour colorful light down onto the altar. Four of the windows are the work of the American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. These include The Recording Angel and Beside the Still Waters. 

Attend a Sunday service to see the church at its most atmospheric. During the service, the high room is filled with the songs of the choirs and tunes of the the church’s impressive organ. 

The Old Stone Church is located on the northwest quadrant of Public Square. It is free to enter and open daily. Pay for parking, available nearby, or take a bus to the city center. Guided tours are only available by prearrangement and for a minimum of 10 people.  


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