Christ Church in Springfield began in 1817, when the Episcopalian commander of the Springfield Armory, Col. Roswell Lee, established a chapel on the second floor of a small building on the armory grounds. When a fire destroyed the main arsenal in 1824, Springfield Episcopalians worshiped at several different temporary locations until construction began in 1839 on a church at State and Dwight Streets. The church was enlarged in 1851, but further growth necessitated the building of a new church. A Norman Gothic structure of Longmeadow brownstone, it was designed by architect Stephen C. Earle of Worcester and was built on Chestnut Street in 1874-1876. Within a year, the church’s tower cracked and was dismantled for safety reasons. It was not rebuilt until 1927. In 1929, Christ Church became the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.