Valentine’s Day at St. James Cathedral – 1992.
February 1992 photo of Jim and Cathy Steiger at a Valentine’s Day celebration at St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando.
Interview with Catherine Buning Steiger at the "Sneak Preview" for Saint James Cathedral in downtown Orlando, November 13th, 2010.
Catherine Buning was born in Orlando in 1957, the sixth child in a family of eight children. The Buning family lived in a large home on Lake Eola at the corner of Robinson Street and Rosalind Avenue. Their house was built in the 1920's and was one of the six larger family homes on Lake Eola. Catherine recalls the lake as her backyard and has fond memories of looking out her bedroom window at night seeing the fountain change color and knowing which color was coming next. She would climb the oak trees around the lake for fun and feed the injured birds cared for by "The Bird Lady" at Grace Motel. The Buning family walked together the two blocks up Robinson Street to attend St. James Church and participated in the annual Easter Parade at Lake Eola. Cathy remembers having a new hat, purse, gloves and walking across the stage at Lake Eola for the judging. One year the Buning family won the best dressed family award and got their picture in the paper. Catherine Buning met her husband here in Orlando and they have raised four children at St. James: Matthew, Steven, Joan and Sarah.
She says, "St. James is a part of my identity and it is a part of their lives, too. The comfort of knowing a lot of the history, and of the people who have gone before me and helped build this parish.... There is a lot of warmth and comfort in knowing the community and being a part of it." As Orlando continues to grow as a city and a community, Mrs. Steiger thinks "the Cathedral will become even more of a centerplace for people to not only worship but for the arts....Things that would bring more of a spirituality to our community and be there to help answer some of the needs of a growing community as well."
Alice Buning, St. James Cathedral
Alice Bunning grew up in the last family home on Lake Eola at the corner of Robinson Street and Rosalind Avenue. Her father, Mr. Bill Buning, had his insurance office downstairs, and her grandfather had his insurance office downtown. Alice grew up with Orlando's landmarks: walking to the Post Office everyday, the library, visting her granddad, and playing around Lake Eola.
In this excerpt from an oral history interview on April 21st, 2011 she shares her happy memories of neighbors, Grace Bowen, who ran Grace Terrace Apartments and Motel Rooms at 240 E. Robinson St., and the Zorian family, also on Lake Eola, at 212 E. Robinson St.
She recalls Grace Bowen's concern for feeding the ducks at Lake Eola and her well known Christmas decorations on the wide stairway of Grace Terrace.
Alice Bunning and her seven siblings were well known to the officer who walked the lake. He knew the Buning children climbing in the trees at Lake Eola, their backyard playground. Alice remembers watching the fountain being built, Cherry Plaza, and "the biggest thing was watching them build the pool at Cherry Plaza. A lot of good times around Lake Eola."
Alice and Joan Buning, St. James Cathedral
President Lyndon B. Johnson, the first president ever to sleep in Orlando, stayed at the Cherry Plaza just around the corner from the Buning's family home on Lake Eola during his 1964 campaign visit. Alice Buning remembers competing with her brother, Rick Buning, to see who could shake President Johnson's hand the most. Alice confirms for the record that she knows she shook President Johnson's hand four times before the President made his way to Colonial Drive for his 9:30 am campaign address. Alice's mother, Joan Buning, also shares her fond memories of the Cherry Plaza Hotel and significant downtown landmarks in this excerpt from an oral history interview with the Bunings on April 21st, 2011.
Mrs. Joan Buning, St. James Cathedral
Joan Buning of St. James Cathedral expresses her gratitude for life in the United States in this excerpt from an oral history interview April 21st, 2011.
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Buning lived in the last family home on Lake Eola at the corner of Robinson St. and Rosalind Ave. where they raised 8 children, 5 girls and 3 boys. The Buning family walked to church at St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando and all eight children graduated from St. James School. Mrs. Buning recalls, "St. James was a major part of our lives."
In this audio excerpt she remembers her three sons service to our country in Vietnam, Desert Storm, at West Point and her husband's service during WWII. Her husband, Bill Buning, was awarded a Purple Heart. Mrs. Buning says, "When I think of some of the situations in other countries it just makes me even more grateful to be a U.S. citizen and to be a part of the great United States."