You know living in a huge city like New York, you start to take things for granted. For example I was born and raised in New York and I have never been to the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty or the Twin Towers and St. Patrick’s Cathedral…
For 3 years I worked across the street from St. Pats. on 5th ave. Everyday I would walk pass the Cathedral and see hundreds of people go in and out of the church, I thought to myself what’s the big deal its a cool looking church. 4 years after I left my job in the city, I took some friends into the city to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, they wanted to go into St. Pats and light a candle. So for the first time in my 27 years I stepped into St Patrick’s Cathedral and man was I amazed. The inside of the church is amazing, its a photographers dream. I could have spent hours in there snapping away!
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic cathedral church in the United States. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church, located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York. It faces Rockefeller Center.
Here is some history about the Cathedral:
The land on which the present cathedral sits was purchased for $11,000 on March 6, 1810, as a site for a school, the New York Literary Institution, for young Roman Catholic men to be conducted by the Jesuits. The school closed and was sold to the diocese. In 1814, the diocese gave use of the property to Dom Augustin LeStrange, abbot of a community of Trappists (from the original monastery of La Trappe) who came to America fleeing persecution by French authorities. In addition to a small monastic community, they also looked after some thirty-three orphans. With the downfall of Napoleon in that year, the Trappists returned to France, abandoning the property. The property at this point was designated for a future cemetery. The neighboring orphanage was maintained by the diocese into the late 1800s. Some of the Trappists resettled to Canada and eventually founded St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.
1913 photograph of the cathedral.
The Diocese of New York, created in 1808, was made an archdiocese by Pope Pius IX on July 19, 1850. In 1853, Archbishop John Joseph Hughes announced his intention to erect a new cathedral to replace the Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Manhattan.
The new cathedral was designed by James Renwick, Jr. in the Gothic Revival style. On August 15, 1858, the cornerstone was laid, just south of the diocese’s orphanage. At that time, present-day midtown Manhattan was far north of the populous areas of New York City.
Work was begun in 1858 but was halted during the Civil War and resumed in 1865. The cathedral was completed in 1878 and dedicated on May 25, 1879, its huge proportions dominating the midtown 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 façade were added in 1888, and an addition on the east, including a Lady chapel, designed by Charles T. Mathews, was begun in 1901. The stained-glass windows in the Lady Chapel were designed and made in Chipping Campden, England by Paul Vincent Woodroffe between 1912 and 1930. The cathedral was renovated between 1927 and 1931 when the great organ was installed and the sanctuary enlarged.
The cathedral and associated buildings were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976