St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Tourist Attractions in New York City
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC, New York, USA
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in North America. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church, located at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, just across the street from Rockefeller Center.
The site of the present cathedral was bought for $11,000 on March 6, 1810, as a site for a school for young Catholic men to be conducted by the Jesuits. This school failed, and in 1813 the land was sold again to Dom Augustin LeStrange, abbot of a community of Trappists (from the original monastery of LaTrappe) who were in America fleeing persecution by French authorities. In addition to a small monastic community, they also looked after some 33 orphans. With the downfall of Napoleon in 1814, the Trappists returned to France, abandoning the property (the orphanage was maintained by the Diocese of New York into the late 1800s) – some of the monks traveled to Canada, however, and eventually founded St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.
The Diocese of New York, created in 1808, was made an archdiocese by Pope Pius IX on July 19, 1850. On October 6, 1850, Archbishop John Joseph Hughes announced his intention to erect a new cathedral to replace the Old St. Patrick’s, located on the intersection of Prince and Mott Streets on Mulberry Street. The “Old Cathedral” had been destroyed by fire in 1866 but was rebuilt and rededicated by 1868. It is still a parish church and is the oldest Catholic site in New York City.
The cornerstone for the new cathedral was laid on August 15, 1858, just south of the diocese’s orphanage, much further north of the populous areas of New York at that time. The cathedral was designed by James Renwick, Jr. in the Gothic Revival style.
Work was begun in 1858 but was halted during the American Civil War, commencing again in 1865. The cathedral was completed in 1878 and was dedicated on May 25, 1879, its huge proportions dominating the mid-town of that time. The archbishop’s house and rectory were added from 1882 to 1884 and an adjacent school (no longer in existence) opened in 1882. The Towers on the West Facade were added in 1888, and an addition on the east, including a Lady Chapel, designed by Charles T. Mathews, began in 1901. The stained glass windows in the Lady Chapel were designed and made in Chipping Camden, England, by Paul Vincent Woodroffe between 1912-1930. The cathedral was renovated between 1927 and 1931, when the great organ was installed, and the sanctuary was enlarged.
Cathedral of Saint Patrick
460 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Daily – 6:30 am to 8:45 pm