St. Patrick's Cathedral Highlights | TopView Sightseeing

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Location: 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022

The story of New York’s great Cathedral mirrors the story of the city itself. Created to affirm the ascendance of religious freedom and tolerance, St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC was built in the democratic spirit, paid for not only by the contributions of thousands of poor immigrants but also by the largesse of 103 prominent citizens who pledged $1,000 each. St. Patrick’s Cathedral proves the maxim that no generation builds a cathedral. It is rather, a kind of ongoing conversation linking generations past, present and future.

Opened in 1879, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic and beautiful buildings in New York.  A decorated Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral, it is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in Midtown Manhattan, directly across the street from Rockefeller Center. It is considered one of the most visible symbols of Roman Catholicism in New York City and the United States. The largest in North America, St. Patrick’s Cathedral New York can accommodate 3,000 people.

The cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral New York was laid in 1858. At that time, present-day midtown Manhattan was far north of the populous areas of New York City. It was over 150 years ago when Archbishop John Hughes announced his inspired ambition to build the “new” St. Patrick’s Cathedral in a ceremony at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral (also worth a visit if you are down in Nolita.) Work began in 1858 but was halted during the Civil War and resumed in 1865. Neither the bloodshed of the Civil War nor the resultant lack of manpower or funds would derail the ultimate fulfillment of Hughes’ dream and architect, James Renwick’s (the same architect who designed the Smithsonian Institution Building in Washington, DC) bold plan. The spires were added in 1888, and at 329 feet and 6 inches (100.4 meters) were the tallest structures in New York City and the second highest in the United States. The cathedral and associated buildings were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Touring St. Patrick’s is a wonderful opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the architecture, history and spirit of this great Cathedral. They have a downloadable smartphone app that is very informative that will add to your experience. Some of the artworks you can view include: The Pietà, sculpted by William Ordway Partridge, which is three times larger than Michelangelo's Pietà. The Cathedral's Stations of the Cross won an 1893 artistry prize at Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition. Commemorating his visit to the city in 1979, Pope John Paul II's bust is in the rear of the Cathedral.

Take advantage of an Uptown & Harlem Tour to explore more of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A map of the Cathedral can be downloaded here. 



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This page was edited by Steven Thomas