The Church Building
St. Bernard Catholic Church in Akron, Ohio, has been declared a historical monument. Distinctively German-Romanesque with a Baroque influence, its architectural style is patterned after many of the great cathedrals in the Rhineland region of Europe.
St. Bernard’s was designed by parishioner, William P. Ginther, an Akron architect who designed numerous churches all over the country, including the Holy Rosary Church in Cleveland. In 1901 the cornerstone was laid and construction began on this church to serve a growing German-speaking population in Akron. Stone costing $51,000 was used and was brought to the site in 125 train carloads. Having no outstanding debts, the church was consecrated for sacred worship to God in October, 1905.
The church embodies the Romanesque Revival style with its symmetrical massing, monochromatic stone, and numerous round and semi-circular arches. The church’s twin bell towers, each with five string courses, are also typical elements of this architectural style. The influences of the Richarsonian Romanesque style are also evident—by the recessed placement of the windows and the random courses of the rock-faced exterior walls.
Distinctive interior details include a large white Italian marble altar and elaborate wall decorations featuring the disciples, apostles and seraphim typical of a Catholic church of this era.
Tours of the church are held at 3:00 P.M. on the Fifth Sunday of the month, or by calling the parish office 330-253-5161 to arrange a tour for your group.