Landmarks In NYC. St Patrick’s Cathedral Is The Most Beautiful Church In US

Landmarks In NYC. St Patrick’s Cathedral Is The Most Beautiful Church In US
Isabel del Rio
Landmarks In NYC. St Patrick's Cathedral Is The Most Beautiful Church In US

St Patrick’s Cathedral. Photo attribution Jean-Christophe BENOIST

Landmarks in NYC. The Cathedral of St. Patrick or St. Patrick’s Cathedral is located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York, directly across the street from Rockefeller Center and specifically facing the Atlas statue.

It’s a Roman Catholic cathedral church designed by James Renwick, Jr. and decorated in Neo-Gothic-style.

With some difficulties, especially during the Civil War, the wonderful building was complete in 1878 and dedicated on May 25, 1879. At that time, present-day midtown Manhattan was far north of the populous areas of New York City. Then, its huge proportions dominating the midtown.

Afterwards, some other parts were added (archbishop’s house, rectory, spires… even a disappeared college) but we highlight a Lady chapel designed by Charles T. Mathews in 1900. The Lady Chapel’s beautiful stained-glass windows were made between 1912 and 1930 by English stained glass artist and designer Paul Vincent Woodroffe.

St Patrick's Cathedral

St Patrick’s Cathedral

In 1927 and 1931, the cathedral was renovated, enlarging the sanctuary and installing the great organ. In fact, St. Patrick’s Cathedral has two pipe organs. The Gallery Organ is located in the Choir Gallery below the Rose Window over the Fifth Avenue entrance. The Chancell Organ is next to the Chapel of St. Joseph. The Organs were blessed on September 15, 2007 celebrating the 10th anniversary of their renovations and inaugurating the Bicentennial Concert Series with a performance James E. Goettsche, the Vatican Organist. The Organs consist of more than 9,000 pipes, 206 stops, 150 ranks and 10 divisions and today, St. Patrick’s cathedral concerts are famous worldwide.

NYC cathedral can accommodate 3,000 people. The transepts it is 174 feet (53.0 meters) wide and 332 feet (101.2 meters) long. The spires rise 330 feet (100.6 meters) from street level. The windows were made by artists in Boston, Massachusetts and European artists from Chartres, France and Birmingham, England. Charles Connick created the rose window.

The Pietà, sculpted by William Ordway Partridge, 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.

The cathedral and associated buildings were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Some prominent people whose Requiem Masses were said at St. Patrick cathedral include New York Yankees greats Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, and Billy Martin, football coach Vince Lombardi, singer Celia Cruz, entertainer and host Ed Sullivan, and U.S. Senator from New York Robert F. Kennedy.

Special memorial Masses were also held at the cathedral following the deaths of artist Andy Warhol, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, and noted author William F. Buckley, Jr.

An extensive restoration of the cathedral was begun in 2012 because of crumbling bricks, faulty heating, acid rain and pollution. It is planned to last 3 years at a cost of $177 million.

The cathedral has appeared in numerous movies and books. For example, in the film Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990); in the Giannina Braschi’s novel, Empire of Dreams (1994); in most of Woody Allen’s films or in the TV shows Futurama and The Simpsons.

Video: St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC.

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Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

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