Although the Founder of Harrisburg, John Harris, Jr., was a member of the Church of England, it was not until 1826 that a permanent Episcopal church building was erected here. Consecrated on St. John's Day, 1827, by Bishop William White, who was First Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, and Chaplain of the Continental Congress, what was known as St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church retains to this day its original Gothic Revival-styled exterior. Before 1865, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was one Episcopal Dioceses. Territorial restructuring over the ensuing decades led to the creation of the Diocese of Harrisburg in 1904 (now the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania). Official designation of St. Stephens as a "Cathedral" Church would occur in 1932. Next door to the south of the Cathedral at 215 N. Front Street, a classic Greek Revival-styled residential structure was erected c. 1840, one of the finest examples of this form of architecture in the Harrisburg area. now known as the Cathedral House, it was acquired by St. Stephen's in 1918 for use as the home of the Church's Dean. The building presently serves as the St. Stephen's Episcopal School which provides a primary through middle school-level curriculum. Directly adjacent to the Cathedral to the north at 221 N. Front Street is the Second Empire-styled Chapter House, the Cathedral administrative center. likewise erected as a single-family residence and dating to 1870, it completes the trio of Cathedral buildings that exhibits a well-preserved cluster of distinctive architectural periods of old Front Street.
St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church in 1855.
Cathedral House in 1934 prior to entranceway portico restoration.